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Contextualizing Internet Use for the Cyber-Queer: Information Realities for Empowerment in Everyday Life

Donna Braquet (, University Libraries, University of Tennessee Bharat Mehra (, School of Information Sciences, University of Tennessee

ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006


Based on empirical research with queer students, staff, and faculty at a typical southern university in the United States, this paper reports qualitative responses from twenty-one gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning individuals about the use of the Internet in their everyday lives. The study shares interview data and presents participant perceptions and scenarios representing typical Internet use-related experiences that map intersections between participants' cyberspace practices and queer identity formation. Findings help to uncover multidimensional and complex realities in the everyday lives of queer people as related to their personal growth, social networking, and political and community-wide empowerment, achieved via the use of the Internet, in ways that are meaningful to them.

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