“White is a color, Middle Eastern is not a color”: Drop-Down Menus, Racial Identification, and the Weight of Labels
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.
KeywordsDrop-down menus Race Ethnicity U.S. Census Dating profiles Middle Eastern Brown
- Ahmed, Uzma. “About: Brown Feminists.” Facebook, last accessed December 2017 via https://www.facebook.com/pg/brunefeminister/.
- Albrechtslund, Anne-Mette. “Gender Values in Simulation Games: Sex and the Sims.” Proceedings of Computer Ethics Philosophical Enquiries, 2007.Google Scholar
- Boston, Nicholas. “Libidinal Cosmopolitanism: The Case of Digital Sexual Encounters in Post-enlargement Europe.” In Postcolonial Transitions in Europe: Contexts, Practices and Politics, edited by Sandra Ponzanesi and Gianmaria Colpani, 291–312. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.Google Scholar
- Bovenkerk, Frank. “The Netherlands.” In International Labor Migration in Europe, edited by Ronald E. Krane, 118–132. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1979.Google Scholar
- Bowker, Geoffrey C., and Susan Leigh Star. Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999.Google Scholar
- Brown, Cecil, Anne Dvinge, Petter Front Fadnes, Johan Fornäs, Ole Izard Høyer, Marilyn Mazur, Michael McEachrane, and John Tchicai. “The Midnight Sun Never Sets: An Email Conversation About Jazz, Race and National Identity in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.” In Afro-Nordic Landscapes: Equality and Race in Northern Europe, edited by Michael McEachrane, 57–86. London: Routledge, 2014.Google Scholar
- Bureau of the Census. “Sixteenth Census of the United States: 1940—Housing.” Department of Commerce, last accessed July 2016 via https://www.census.gov/prod/www/decennial.html.
- Bureau of the Census. “United States Census 2010.” Department of Commerce, last accessed July 2016 via https://www.census.gov/history/.
- Bureau of the Census. “Untitled [1970 Census Questionnaire].” Department of Commerce, last accessed July 2016 via https://www.census.gov/prod/www/decennial.html.
- Chee, Alexander. “My First (and Last) Time Dating a Rice Queen.” The Strangler, 21 June 2017, https://www.thestranger.com/queer-issue-2017/2017/06/21/25227046/my-first-and-last-time-dating-a-rice-queen.
- Christensen, Anne Middelboe. “Ung, brun, og søgende” [Young, Brown, and Searching]. Information, 28 August 2016, https://www.information.dk/kultur/anmeldelse/2016/08/ung-brun-soegende.
- DaCosta, Kimberly McClain. Making Multiracials: State, Family, and Market in the Redrawing of the Color Line. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007.Google Scholar
- Drucker, Johanna. “Humanities Approaches to Interface Theory.” Culture Machine 12 (2011): 1–20.Google Scholar
- Duguay, Stefanie. “Three Flawed Assumptions the Daily Beast Made About Dating Apps.” Social Media Collective Research Blog, 16 August 2016, https://socialmediacollective.org/2016/08/16/three-assumptions-the-daily-beast-made-about-dating-apps/.
- Elliot. “Ten Money Questions: Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai.” Queercents, 14 December 2010, http://queercents.com/2010/12/14/grindr-ceo-joel-simkhai-interview/.
- Fanon, Franz. Black Skin, White Masks. Translated by Charles Lam Markmann. London: Pluto Press, 1986 .Google Scholar
- Goffman, Erving. Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. London: Harper & Row, 1974.Google Scholar
- Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Doubleday, 1959 .Google Scholar
- Goldhill, Olivia. “People Really Are Finding Love on Dating Apps Like Grindr and Tinder.” Business Insider, 2 July 2013. http://www.businessinsider.com/we-found-love-on-grindr-2013-7?r=US&IR=T&IR=T.
- Gonzalez-Barrera, Ana, and Mark Hugo Lopez. “Is Being Hispanic a Matter of Race, Ethnicity or Both?” Pew Research Center, 15 June 2015. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/15/is-being-hispanic-a-matter-of-race-ethnicity-or-both/.
- Gosine, Andil. “Brown to Blonde at Gay.com: Passing White in Queer Cyberspace.” In Queer Online: Media Technology and Sexuality, edited by Kate O’Riordan and David J. Phillips, 139–154. New York: Peter Lang, 2007.Google Scholar
- Green, Adam Isaiah. “Sexual Capital and Social Inequality: The Study of Sexual Fields.” In Introducing the New Sexuality Studies, edited by Nancy L. Fischer and Steven Seidman. New York: Routledge, 2016.Google Scholar
- “Grindr and Sex Culture.” Panel at Copenhagen Pride with Kristian Møller, Fahad Saeed, Niels Jansen, and Andrew Shield, 16 August 2017. Archived and last accessed Autumn 2017 via http://kanal-1.dk/14-grindr-sexkultur-lystfulde-politiske-hadefulde-perspektiver/.
- Helde, Mette Lindegren. Du har et valg! Lærervejledning: En undervisningspakke om emnet social control [You Have a Choice! Teacher Guidance: A Teaching Pamphlet on the Subject of Social Control]. Denmark: Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration, April 2017.Google Scholar
- Hoeffel, Elizabeth M., Sonya Rastogi, Myoung Ouk Kim, and Hasan Shahid. “The Asian Population: 2010.” U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Census Briefs, March 2012, https://www.census.gov/2010census/data/.
- Humes, Karen R., Nicholas A. Jones, and Roberto R. Ramirez. “Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010.” U.S. Census Bureau: 2010 Census Briefs, March 2011, https://www.census.gov/2010census/data/.
- Kaptelinin, Victor. “Affordance.” In The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, edited by Mads Soegaard and Rikke Friis Dam, 2nd ed. Interactive Design Foundation, 2011.Google Scholar
- Nakamura, Lisa. Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet. New York and London: Routledge, 2002.Google Scholar
- Neff, Gina, Tim Jordan, and Joshua McVeigh-Schulz. “Affordances, Technical Agency, and the Politics of Technologies of Cultural Production: A Dialogue.” Culture Digitally, 23 January 2012, http://culturedigitally.org/2012/01/affordances-technical-agency-and-the-politics-of-technologies-of-cultural-production-2/.
- Parisi, Lorenza, and Francesca Comunello. “Exploring Networked Interactions Through the Lens of Location-Based Dating Services: The Case of Italian Grindr Users.” In LGBTQs, Media, and Culture in Europe, edited by Alexander Dhoest, Lukasz Szulc, and Bart Eeckhout, 227–243. London: Routledge, 2017.Google Scholar
- Pérez, Hiram. A Taste for Brown Bodies: Gay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire. New York: New York University Press, 2015.Google Scholar
- Robinson, Russell. “Structural Dimensions of Romantic Preferences.” Fordham Law Review 76 (2008): 2786–2820.Google Scholar
- Sabaah. “[Debat:] Tænder ikke på asiater” [Debate: I’m Not Turned On by Asians]. 19 February 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvSuHQPFWGw.
- Said, Edward W. Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books and Random House, 1979.Google Scholar
- Shield, Andrew DJ. Immigrants in the Sexual Revolution: Perceptions and Participation in Northwest Europe. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.Google Scholar
- Shield, Andrew DJ. “New in Town: Gay Immigrants and Geosocial Dating Apps.” In LGBTQs, Media, and Culture in Europe, edited by Alexander Dhoest, Lukasz Szulc, and Bart Eeckhout, 244–261. London: Routledge, 2017.Google Scholar
- Sørensen, J. W. “Der kom fremmede: Migration, Højkonjunktur, Kultursammenstød, Foreign Workers in Denmark up to 1970” [There Were Strangers Who Came: Migration, High-Conjuncture and Culture Clash]. Aarhus University, Working paper for the Center for Culture Research, 1988.Google Scholar
- Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Can the Subaltern Speak?” In Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, edited by Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988.Google Scholar
- Thompson, Debra Elizabeth. “Seeing Like a Racial State: The Census and the Politics of Race in the United States, Great Britain and Canada.” PhD diss., University of Toronto, 2012.Google Scholar