Talking Through Race: Two Raced Women’s Tinder Stories
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While as an epitome of contemporary pairing culture Tinder has been reported as dangerous for its association with sex-centered post-feminist culture, including hook ups and toxic masculinity, an original case study exploring women of color (WOC) in the culture has not been undertaken yet. By inviting WOC Tinder users into an ethnographic study, I show the instability of race that mediates their lived experiences in line with gender in the culture of sexual intimacy. I focus on two female study participants living in the United States: Greek–Black biracial Betty and Korean-Asian Rose. By examining their processes of revisiting their Tinder episodes and developing their conclusive stories vis-à-vis their identities, I argue that they perform their race processed through ongoing negotiation with the social systems and their personal lived experiences, to respond to racialization, gendering, and sexualization in the pairing culture, mediated by the image-centered dating app, Tinder.
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