1. AGS
  2. FR
  3. Le Centre
  4. Archives de l'Atelier
  5. 2016

Social media and young people’s sexualities: On morality and conservatism

Publié le 26 septembre 2016 Mis à jour le 25 septembre 2023

26 septembre

Sander De Ridder

(Universiteit Gent)

Salle Henri Janne (15ème étage), Institut de Sociologie, Bâtiment S
Avenue Jeanne, 44, 1050 Bruxelles

In this presentation, I will position social media as a moral battleground on which sexual politics are negotiated in contemporary youth cultures. Observing how, for young people, there are so many ways to do sexuality ‘wrong’ in social media contexts, I describe a hierarchical system of sexual value that relates to discourses of authenticity, realness and immediacy. While such discourses refer to broader sexual politics in the everyday lives of young people, I argue how notions of mediated selves are producing particular ways of morally distancing the self from perceived ‘deviate’ social media practices of peers. Connecting this hierarchical system of sexual value to social media logics, I will argue how social media culture relates to a sexual conservatism in Western youth cultures.

Sander De Ridder holds a PhD in Communication Studies from Ghent University Belgium. His main interests broadly include the study of digital media cultures and processes of media power in people’s everyday lives. His work concentrates on dynamics of social and cultural change, related to sense making practices on intimacies, sexualities, relationships and desires.
Currently, Sander De Ridder is a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), and a member member of the Centre for Cinema and Media Studies (Ghent University). He is actively involved in the European Communication and Research Association (ECREA), and the Consortium on Emerging Directions in Audience Research (CEDAR).