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Title: Subverted agency: the dilemmas of disempowerment in digital practices
Authors: Chib, Arul
Ang, Ming Wei
Zheng, Yingqin
Nguyen, Sarah Hoan
Keywords: Social sciences::Communication
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Chib, A., Ang, M. W., Zheng, Y. & Nguyen, S. H. (2022). Subverted agency: the dilemmas of disempowerment in digital practices. New Media and Society, 24(2), 458-477.
Journal: New Media and Society
Abstract: A common view is that marginalized groups benefit substantially from strategic use of digital technologies. An intersectionality perspective, however, suggests that these outcomes may vary depending on individuals’ social positionality. We propose the concept of “subverted agency” to emphasize that use of digital technologies may be personally empowering but might reinforce normative regimes contributing to sociostructural marginalization. We investigated digital practices of 17 online-soliciting transfeminine sex workers through semi-structured interviews in Singapore, where attitudes toward gender diversity and sex work remain conservative. We highlight three dilemmas of digital media environments, namely, presentation of gender identity and embodiment, intimate relationships characterized by persistent liminality, and competitive pressures related to authenticity of identity. The subverted agency perspective suggests that digital practices do not straightforwardly transform unequal sociostructural conditions; instead, it offers a frame to rethink inclusion by attending to contextual intersections of marginalization.
ISSN: 1461-4448
DOI: 10.1177/14614448211063181
Rights: © 2022 The Author(s). All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:IGS Journal Articles
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