The Politics of Dating Apps: Gender, Sexuality, and Emergent Publics in Urban China

Lik Sam Chan

The Politics of Dating Apps: Gender, Sexuality, and Emergent Publics in Urban China
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The Politics of Dating Apps: Gender, Sexuality, and Emergent Publics in Urban China

Lik Sam Chan

An examination of dating app culture in China, across user demographics–straight women, straight men, queer women, and queer men. In this exploration of dating app culture in China, Lik Sam Chan argues that these popular mobile apps are not merely a platform for personal relationships but also an emerging arena for gender and queer politics. Chan examines the opportunities dating apps present for women’s empowerment and men’s performances of masculinity, and he links experiences of queer dating app users with their vulnerable position as sexual minorities. He finds that dating apps are both portals to an exciting virtual world of relational possibilities and sites of power dynamics that reflect the heteronormativity and patriarchy of Chinese society.

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