LGBTQ Online Movements

By: Suvojit Bandopadhyaya   Linda Jean Kenix  

This paper explores the shifting dynamics of what constitutes a contemporary social movement and the pros and cons that have emerged after movements have gone online. The paper attempts to bridge past research on online movements and the study of the contemporary lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement in New Zealand. This paper is premised on in-depth interviews with twenty-nine interviewees regarding how social media has brought a change to the contemporary LGBT movement in New Zealand. This research tries to draw a correlation with past researchers and interviewee responses. The interviewees testified to shifting nature of the contemporary LGBT movement after the emergence and inclusion of the Internet and social media platforms. Social networking sites have led to greater awareness and better coordination among movement actors to organise LGBT movements in New Zealand. Social media has also been a great organizational tool for the LGBT community today. The paper concludes that the Internet and social media have led to more visibility and accessibility of information with contemporary movements. The Internet has been a facilitator even before the emergence of social media platforms, however, online activism has amplified and has taken a new meaning with several social media platforms at our disposal today and social media activists are exploiting different platforms to organize and mobilize supporters.

Social media, Internet
Media Technologies
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Suvojit Bandopadhyaya

New Zealand
New Zealand

Hello, my name is Suvojit Bandopadhyaya and I generally go by my nickname - Suvo. I'm a third year PhD candidate in the media and communication department at University of Canterbury, New Zealand. I'm a social media researcher and am interested to do research exploring different facets of social media platforms. My PhD dissertation examines how modern terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, use Facebook and Twitter for propaganda and radicalisation. My primary field of study is in Media and terrorism; however, I have taken my conceptual concerns further with how social media is used to study other domains such as social media and LGBT rights and how we maintain virtual identities simultaneously across various online platforms. I have done my Master's in Media Governance from Jamia Millia Islamia and my undergraduate Hons degree in Journalism from Delhi University, India. 

Linda Jean Kenix

Professor/Head of School, Media and Communication, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
-, New Zealand

Linda Jean Kenix is Professor and Head of the School of Languages, Social, and Political Sciences at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, where she has worked for the last 13 years. Before coming to New Zealand, she was an Assistant Professor they never see Minnesota. She is published broadly in over 30 international academic journals and her book, Alternative and Mainstream Media: The Converging Spectrum, was published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2001.