Appnography: Modifying Ethnography for App-Based Culture

  • Luc S. Cousineau
  • Harrison Oakes
  • Corey W. Johnson


Dating and courtship practices have evolved with the introduction of automobiles, birth control pills, telephones, answering machines, and the Internet. The most recent of these innovations is geo-social networking applications (GSNAs)—apps that use profiles and device locations to facilitate interaction in real time and in-person meetings, often with the explicit intent for social and/or sexual interaction. This real-time interface makes GSNAs immensely popular, but this also means they offer an important lens into contemporary dating and sexual social relations. Despite their popularity, GSNAs have only recently garnered academic interest. To address this significant gap, we highlight the contributions of feminist and queer theoretical frameworks for understanding digital culture and explore how GSNAs are (re)shaping gender identities within straight, bisexual, lesbian, and gay communities. The positive and negative impacts of GSNAs on sexual relationships, subsequent quality of life, and how public and private leisure spaces are being transformed through the use of GSNAs are important points of interest with this modified methodological approach.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luc S. Cousineau
    • 1
  • Harrison Oakes
    • 2
  • Corey W. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Recreation & Leisure StudiesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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