Tinder-ing Desire: The Circuit of Culture, Gamified Dating and Creating Desirable Selves
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This dissertation starts at intersection of race, gender, and technology, all of which will be discussed in depth throughout this project, and the fluid state of being constituted and being undone by one another. It is in this state of vulnerability that relationships are initiated, through technology that these relationships are shaped and facilitated, and within the constraints of social expectations that these interactions are able/allowed to occur (Duck, 2011). As life becomes more mediated and interactions more facilitated through technological means, focusing on relationships facilitated through dating apps is illustrative of the ways in which mobile technologies are changing the way we communicate with one another. The introduction provides the theoretical overview of the literature off of which the rest of the dissertation builds its arguments: the importance of interpersonal connections, the positionality of Asian men in the U.S., and the mutual shaping of society and technology, as well as a justification for a mixed methodological approach to these areas of inquiry. The second chapter looks at the subreddit r/Tinder Profile Review Week thread to see how individuals seek feedback on creating a desirable self and describes how these impression management strategies of Asian men differ from the group which is comprised predominantly by white men. The third chapter uses interview data explore the challenges Asian men face on dating apps face as well as they strategies they employ to create desirable selves and circumvent social and technical barriers. The final chapter draws on the expertise of Asian men who work or have worked in the [video] game industry. They talk about impacts of gamification on mobile dating apps and provides design suggestions for a better, more socially just mobile dating app experience that benefit all users.
- Communications