“Keep it Classy”

Grindr, Facebook and Enclaves of Queer Privilege in India

Authored by: Rohit K. Dasgupta

The Routledge Companion to Media and Class

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138493612
eBook ISBN: 9781351027342
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351027342-8

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Abstract

This chapter is based on five years of ethnography conducted with queer men in New Delhi and West Bengal. The popularity of mobile applications such as Grindr/Planet Romeo and queer groups being set up on Facebook have opened up new spaces for interaction, socializing and romantic intimacy for queer men in India. However, it is argued that these spaces, far from removing barriers of class, race and gender, create new barriers, thus catering to a “classed” community of users. Economic and social inequalities remain embedded within the communication-creating enclaves of privilege, which puts several queer men “out of place.” Class location and identification are significant in India and, as Henderson (2013) puts it, it is the prism through which often painful, sometimes shameful, experiences and feelings are pressed into recognition. This chapter will critique the invisibility of class within queer studies and look at the role social media plays in perpetuating class-based bias within queer digital spaces in India.

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