“White is a color, Middle Eastern is not a color”: Drop-Down Menus, Racial Identification, and the Weight of Labels

  • Andrew DJ ShieldEmail author


Having established that race- and ethnicity-related discourses circulate on Grindr, this final analytic chapter scrutinizes the technology itself (i.e. Grindr) for its role in encouraging conceptions of and discourses about race. Like many other socio-sexual platforms, Grindr highlights “ethnicity” (really meaning race) on its platform as a primary way for users to define themselves, and provides a limited set of drop-down options. These drop-down menus afford other users the possibility to conduct race-selective searches. The first half of the chapter historicizes and critiques Grindr’s “ethnicity” menu options, and argues that its categories are based largely in a U.S. American understanding of racial difference. The second half elaborates on how and why users negotiate, challenge, or reject the menu and its options.


Drop-down menus Race Ethnicity U.S. Census Dating profiles Middle Eastern Brown 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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