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Activism and Digital Practices in the Construction of an LGTB Sphere in Spain


Based on the anthropological interrogation into communities and the construction of a public sphere, this article approaches the digital strategies used to shape what may be referred to as the Spanish LGTB sphere. I consider LGTB activism as the main producer of legitimized social discourse, and have therefore analyzed the websites of seven LGTB collectives and other digital resources in order to examine the articulation of digital and non-digital practices, based on a shared knowledge evoking collective identities and feeding activism. In combining anthropological fieldwork on activism and digital ethnographies for virtual environments, I suggest that despite their intensive use of digital resources, the LGTB sphere still largely depends on traditional social networks. As a consequence, the article questions the usefulness of conceiving of digital and non-digital relations as separate and distinct and discusses this embeddedness as a main feature of contemporary activism.

digital practices; social networks; LGTB activism; mobilization; communities

Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos (IESP) da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) R. da Matriz, 82, Botafogo, 22260-100 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel. (55 21) 2266-8300, Fax: (55 21) 2266-8345 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil