NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
ERIC Number: ED549500
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 235
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2672-7777-0
An Ethnographic Analysis of Adolescent Sexual Minority Website Usage: Exploring Notions of Information Seeking and Sexual Identity Development
Sulfridge, Rocky M.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Wayne State University
This dissertation explores the website usage of adolescent sexual minorities, examining notions of information seeking and sexual identity development. Sexual information seeking is an important element within human information behavior and is uniquely problematic for young sexual minorities. Utilizing a contemporary gay teen website, this five-year virtual ethnography of GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender) youth demonstrates an understanding of the function of the Internet as an invaluable tool for exploring social and psychological needs while providing anonymity and keeping information-seeking behavior relatively unknown. The use of Chatman's (1996) Information Impoverished Theory and Cass's (1979) Model of Gay and Lesbian Identity Formation aids the analysis of this particular culture's information-seeking behavior and sexual orientation identity formation. As a result, a number of salient themes are revealed, including exploration of and experimentation with sexuality; struggles with identity; ascertaining a social network; the "coming out" process; sexual identity confusion; and negative effects associated with homosexuality, such as low self-esteem, suicide, and conflict surrounding religious ideology. In addition, the findings suggest that sexual prejudice is a pervasive issue for this community and that the use of a gay teen chat forum is an effective means of ethnographic data collection. This dissertation concludes by identifying limitations and offering insights for further inquiry into the communication behavior of adolescent sexual minorities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A