About the Talk
"Affordances of Queer Dating Apps and the Potential for Queer Worldmaking in Urban China"
Researchers in digital media so far have been arguing that the Internet has contributed to the queer worldmaking in China. In this talk, Chan takes a closer look at this claim through the concept of “affordances.” This concept offers a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between communication technology and society. Based on in-depth interviews with 34 gay, lesbian, and bisexual dating app users in southern China, Chan analyzes the affordances of popular dating apps and how the emotions of these users complicate these affordances. In this view, dating apps are not building a queer world in China in the way as queer theorists would envision.
About Sam Chan
Lik Sam Chan, Ph.D., is a George Gerbner Postdoctoral Fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication. Chan received his Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in 2018 and a master’s degree in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Chan researches emerging dating app culture in the United States and urban China. His research is interdisciplinary and uses both quantitative and qualitative methods. He is now working on a book manuscript on the implications of dating apps on feminist politics, gender performance, queer possibilities, and the nature of intimacy in urban China.
Chan’s work has appeared in leading communication journals such as New Media & Society and Communication, Culture & Critique. He has won top paper awards from the Communication and Technology Division, Health Communication Division, and Organizational Communication Division from the International Communication Association, as well as the Human Communication and Technology Division from the National Communication Association. His paper on Hong Kong advertising creative workers was selected as one of six outstanding papers in Hong Kong Studies in 2016-17 by the Academy of Hong Kong Studies. He is currently the Student and Early Career Representative of the LGBTQ Studies Interest Group of the International Communication Association.