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Digital relationships and feminist hope

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Published

Publication date2013
Host publicationDigital sociology : critical perspectives
EditorsKate Orton-Johnson, Nick Prior
Place of publicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)9780230222823
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Any critical rethinking of relationships in the digital age involves, in some sense, a ‘speaking back’. Perhaps more than any other area of studies related to digital media and technologies, this is an area that has historically been characterised by unsubstantiated speculation and sweeping claims which seem almost calculated, in hindsight, to cause consternation to feminists and sociologists alike. Indeed, the study of relationality and subjectivity in online contexts is one area where we might want to be critical of the very notion of a ‘digital age’. The question for feminist theories of the digital is rather, how do we avoid the notion that the digital represents a huge social revolution which demands an equal transformation in sociological thinking, when so much of what we see in digital spaces remains so dispiritingly familiar? And how does one do this without becoming as negative and reductive as that sentence would seem to suggest?