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Across borders: an anthropology of dating apps beyond dating 
Fabian Broeker (LSE)
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Branwen Spector (University College London)
Fabian Broeker (LSE)
Thursday 18 July, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

The panel aims to situate dating technologies within anthropological investigations that go beyond ethnographic portraits of dating, to ask broader questions on ethics, methodology, and culture, moving past questions of intimacy, to interrogate their wider societal impact on communities.

Long Abstract:

Dating apps have been absorbed into dating rituals and practices of intimacy across the globe, but anthropological scholarship is only beginning to grapple with how their impact has moved beyond this scope. Indeed, digital technologies are bound up in everyday life, with platforms, devices and other digital services forming socio-technical assemblages which can shape or reconfigure the dynamics of human relationships and identity. There are now a large variety of dating apps catering to particular desires, cultural contexts, and user groups, forming a polymedia environment of possibilities for anthropological scholarship and engagement.

We invite to our panel, anthropologists examining the impact of dating apps beyond dating, anchoring these applications within specific cultural contexts, who interrogate their wider societal impact on communities, addressed via anthropological theoretical frameworks and methodologies. Within this framework, while offering a diversity of viewpoints, the panel will engage particularly with dating apps across the Global South, seeking to provide counterpoints to the plethora of anthropological literature focusing on dating apps via an Anglo-American lens. While, of course, any discussion of dating apps will remain somewhat anchored in practices of intimacy, this panel seeks to broaden perspectives on this topic, by facilitating a more in-depth examination of the particular cultural contexts these apps exist within, taking on the specific experiential viewpoints of communities in widely varying circumstances. We invite discussions on how we can think about these apps beyond questions of intimacy, and how we can utilise them as tools to move beyond their sociotechnical borders.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -