19-21 June, 2017
Panel "Gender, history and media"
Researching constructions of femininity, masculinity and sexuality in Latvian social media discourses
This paper shall present the current state of the project “Constructing femininity, masculinity and sexuality in German, Latvian and Polish social media discourses”, realized since December 2015 at the University of Bremen. The study shows how discourse shapes popular constructions of social reality and contributes to their variations in different languages/countries, within the context and under the influence of diverging histories of political and economic systems, social change and movements, and power relations, with particular attention paid to the three countries' varying socialist legacies and current positions within the EU. This focus on historical intra- and inter-national power relations makes it possible to use critical and postcolonial approaches to language in order to trace continuity and change in discourses on gender and sexuality competing within and between German, Latvian and Polish societies. The use of social media guarantees access to various discourses, including those marginalized or absent in traditional mass media.
In accordance with the conference’s theme, the presentation shall focus on the Baltic State included in the study, i.e. Latvia. It will reflect on the discourses of the local LGBT community and its opponents within the context of Latvia’s post-Soviet democratic development and its nation rebuilding project.