Presentation Title

’Please send me healing vibes’: Affective connection in an online queer community

Presenter Name

Jai Mackenzie

Presenter Title/Affiliation

University of Nottingham

Start Date

23-5-2021 11:00 AM

Event Name

Panel discussion

Panel Number

21

Panel Chair Name

Adi Bharat

Zoom URL to Join

https://ciis.zoom.us/j/98982386618

Zoom Meeting ID

989 8238 6618

Abstract

This presentation draws from my research with nine UK-based single and/or LGB (lesbian, gay or bisexual) parents who used adoption, donor conception, surrogacy or co-parenting arrangements to bring children into their lives. Each individual took part in three interviews over eleven months and shared selections of their digital interactions from a range of contexts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. The project considers how these participants construct their parenting practice in and through their digital connections with others, developing a theory of ‘parenting with connection’ and its three core components: epistemic connection, collective connection and affective connection, through a constructivist grounded theory approach (Charmaz 2014). In keeping with the symbolic interactionist roots of grounded theory, this theory of parenting with connection is process-focused, giving primacy to the construction of meanings, practices, selves and communities through action and interaction.

This presentation explores the theme of affective connection in relation to data from one of the gay male parents who took part in this study: Tony (pseudonyms used throughout). I focus on a selection of Tony’s posts to a private Facebook group for UK-based ‘Fae Revolutionaries’, a queer counter-cultural network originating in the U.S. during the 1970s gay rights movement. My close discourse analysis of these posts, alongside supporting interview data, explores the affective timbre of Tony’s communication in this digital context, with a particular focus on how affect shapes and mobilises his connections with this queer community. I argue that Tony’s posts are centred on embodied and spiritual expressions of connected feeling that go beyond the linguistic externalisation of individual emotion (as emphasised, for example, in Bednarek, 2008; Martin & White, 2005). I conceptualise this communicative practice as ‘affective connection’, suggesting that emotion and feeling shapes Tony’s connections with this community in a way that transcends the boundaries of individual minds, bodies, or indeed digital screens.

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May 23rd, 11:00 AM May 23rd, 11:30 AM

’Please send me healing vibes’: Affective connection in an online queer community

This presentation draws from my research with nine UK-based single and/or LGB (lesbian, gay or bisexual) parents who used adoption, donor conception, surrogacy or co-parenting arrangements to bring children into their lives. Each individual took part in three interviews over eleven months and shared selections of their digital interactions from a range of contexts, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp. The project considers how these participants construct their parenting practice in and through their digital connections with others, developing a theory of ‘parenting with connection’ and its three core components: epistemic connection, collective connection and affective connection, through a constructivist grounded theory approach (Charmaz 2014). In keeping with the symbolic interactionist roots of grounded theory, this theory of parenting with connection is process-focused, giving primacy to the construction of meanings, practices, selves and communities through action and interaction.

This presentation explores the theme of affective connection in relation to data from one of the gay male parents who took part in this study: Tony (pseudonyms used throughout). I focus on a selection of Tony’s posts to a private Facebook group for UK-based ‘Fae Revolutionaries’, a queer counter-cultural network originating in the U.S. during the 1970s gay rights movement. My close discourse analysis of these posts, alongside supporting interview data, explores the affective timbre of Tony’s communication in this digital context, with a particular focus on how affect shapes and mobilises his connections with this queer community. I argue that Tony’s posts are centred on embodied and spiritual expressions of connected feeling that go beyond the linguistic externalisation of individual emotion (as emphasised, for example, in Bednarek, 2008; Martin & White, 2005). I conceptualise this communicative practice as ‘affective connection’, suggesting that emotion and feeling shapes Tony’s connections with this community in a way that transcends the boundaries of individual minds, bodies, or indeed digital screens.

https://digitalcommons.ciis.edu/lavlang/2021/sunday/2