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Intersectionality, textual trajectory and performativity in the blogosphere
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Despite the social movements in many parts of the world which have resulted in the relative acceptance of queer lives, the myriad discourses on queer performativities which circulate in the media and in social networks as well as the possibility of using the web for queer sexual encounters, living sexuality far from the heterosexual matrix (Butler 1990) is still a big issue in many parts of the world. This point implies that the label "reflexive modernity" (Beck, Giddens and Lash 1995), coined to explain the questioning of social principles understood as natural or given – the "voices of modernity" (Bauman and Briggs 2003) – is still distant from accounting for a large part of the world's population. Reflexivity is typical of the contingent lives (Bauman 1992) a lot of people live nowadays, but it cohabits with widely-circulating and effective reactionary discourses which require hiding such reflexivity in many places. This paper looks into how such hidden reflexivity operates in a private blog called “Life in the closet", fed by a Brazilian undergraduate between 2011-2014. As a case in point, I focus on how a YouTube video advert called "The Man Man" is successively entextualized in the blog, by following its re-entextualization into posts made by the blogger himself and 18 other participants. Describing the translocalization (Blommaert 2005) of the video text, which opens it up for the participants' scrutiny, I draw attention to: a) how different social scales of gender, sexuality, race and social class are indexed intersectionally (Barnard 2003; Halberstam 2011), bringing about changes in TimeSpace scales (Blommaert 2010); and, b) how such sociolinguistic phenomena are constitutive of the metareflexivity participants are involved with. I argue that processes of this nature, despite developing secretively in a restricted area of the blogosphere, end up queering heteronormativity orders of indexicality (Blommaert 2010).
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