Disturbing Hegemonic Discourse: Nonbinary Gender and Sexual Orientation Labeling on Tumblr6

Labeling concept

There was human anatomy of literary works in therapy called labeling theory and modified labeling theory (Norris, 2011). Predominantly, this literary works centers around the negative impacts of labels such as “depressed” and “ex-convict” mounted on people considered by culture to be deviant (Norris, 2011). Offered these centers on labeling, drawing connections between labeling theory or modified labeling theory and sex labeling practices may be tricky—the implication that a nonbinary sex or sexual orientation label is indicative of either psychological disease or unlawful tendencies, particularly when the legitimacy of sex identification condition happens to be called into concern by scholars such as for example Judith Butler (2004), just isn’t the purpose of this research. Helpfully, R. Norris’ (2011) study examines self-labeling in nontraditional undergraduates (those aged 25 years and older), instead of centering on more socially stigmatizing labels of ex-convict or mentally sick dawn. One main point of distinction, though, is Norris (2011) discovers self-evaluation that is negative afterwards disidentification to be pregnant lesbian sex closely tied up with self-labeling (p. 191), whereas NBG&SO self-labeling techniques as discussed in this specific article are, fundamentally, a constructive procedure, for instance, the process of public NBG&SO self-labeling helps you to offer spaces for communities in order to connect.

Norris (2011) additionally contends that self-labeling arises away from “discrepancies between how one ‘should’ be and exactly how one is in reality” (p. 190). While this will be probably the way it is in a few circumstances of self-labeling (even some cases of NBG&SO self-labeling), we discover that, generally speaking, the training of self-labeling NBG&SO on Tumblr functions as an effort to bridge those discrepancies and create/use labels that more exactly explain one’s NBG&SO as opposed to nonbinary people wanting to match hegemonic understandings of sex and intimate orientation. This conclusion is comparable to Adam D. Galinsky et al. ’s (2013) findings that the reclamation of previously derogatory labels (such as for instance “queer”) by marginalized teams make it possible to “attenuate the stigma connected to the group that is derogatory” (p. 2028). It really is then feasible to know the reclaimed label of “queer”—described by Cameron and Kulick (2003) and Gray (2009)—as initial grounding for the self-labeling of NBG&SO since “once an organization starts self-labeling, team power is regarded as increasing” (Galinsky et al., 2013, p. 2028), and also this perception of energy could be an adding factor to the expansion of NBG&SO self-labeling as seen on Tumblr.


Perhaps, labeling processes through appropriation of hegemonic discourse aren’t radical sufficient to generate change that is true societal imaginings of sex and intimate orientation; in a Foucauldian feeling, the LGBTQIA community is, maybe, simply recycling current energy structures. But, though created of hegemonic discourse, we argue that this framework additionally provides a way to make LGBTQIA genders and sexualities familiar. The word “asexual” is instantly thought to be the lack of the work of intercourse, therefore is definitely an simple rational action to the lack of sexual interest in a person. This framework acts not just to make a less strenuous course for brand new people in the LGBTQIA community to follow but in addition supplies the window of opportunity for those outside the community to get a better understanding of nonbinary genders and sexualities—even should they might not always accept them. Put differently, considering that the market currently has some familiarity with the basic (hegemonic) sex and intimate orientation discourse, it’s then easier for them (inside the community or otherwise not) to understand the greater amount of nuanced ways of explaining genders and sexualities not in the hegemonic binary, consequently annoying hegemonic notions of sex and orientation that is sexual.

Besides the good subversive powers of public gender and orientation that is sexual, We have shown just exactly how platform affordances form use and therefore identification construction along with discursive labeling practices. Affordances as easy as maybe not supplying structured pages allow users to determine their very own techniques to display areas of by themselves they give consideration to being main with their feeling of real self. In this situation, shortage of structured pages means identification construction occurs not online in bio bins and About me personally pages but additionally through ephemeral tagging as well as other community building methods such as for example asking for asks. LGBTQIA bloggers took benefit of the affordances (or shortage thereof) on Tumblr in order to make About me personally pages and bio containers typical places for NBG&SO identification construction and self-labeling to occur, causeing this to be a meeting for the LGBTQIA community on Tumblr that stretches the discussion on NBG&SO and maybe invites audiences to consider their particular gender and intimate orientation.