Hi, my name’s Jenny and I’m the person carrying out this research project. I’m 25 years old and I am a PhD research student in the School for Social and Political Sciences and the Institute for Health and Wellbeing at the University of Glasgow, and have been studying sociology for 6 years.
Art, sociology and an internet connection have really shaped who I am (and they have shaped this project too). Having spent my own adolescence navigating my gender and sexuality solo in a wee farming village in Scotland, this connection to different ideas and like-minded others online was a real life line for me.
Sociology has given me a way of understanding the world that challenges the taken-for-granted and naturalised. It’s a way of understanding inequalities and imagining the world in a different way. With sociology, you can connect deeply intimate experiences, like depression or attraction, to wider social structures and to me, that’s really powerful. I am also really into art – it’s a big part of my life and a big part of this research too. (You might realise this as you navigate the website..) For me, it’s another way of communicating, of understanding and of re-imagining the world.
You can get in touch on the contact page.
This current project has developed from the illustrated dissertation An ethnographic study of Anglo-American young people exploring gender online (2011). I studied 14 trans and gender variant young people’s online spaces over a variety of online platforms including YouTube, tumblr and twitter. These young people had shaped spaces to express emotions and share experiences and forged deep, intimate relationships with other trans and gender queer young people. They challenged the dominant understandings and representations of gender, but also reproduced them in the emerging hierarchies of these spaces.