Sociology of Tumblr
January 9, 2014 4:32 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find online (preferably informal) articles or blog posts about the sociology of Tumblr, like this one?

I've been venturing deep into what's known as "social justice tumblr," and I find it very interesting as a subculture. It's mostly activists for minority-of-the-minority rights, such as transgender people and asexuals.

For example, the link above leads to a blog post about the "call-out culture" of tumblr (publicly reblogging a post and calling the original poster out on "ignorance" or "bigotry," usually in a very direct and impolite way):

"Call out culture might, at times, dangerously resemble bullying. However, it is not exactly the same. It certainly shares its outcome, however, unlike bullying, call out culture is part of the performative aspect of blogging. Unlike bullying, a call out is intended for an audience."

People will even "call out" personal posts (e.g. About how being a girl is hard because of periods) as transmisogynistic (e.g. By reblogging that trans men can have periods too).

Also really interested in tumblr jargon such as trigger warnings, and new subcultures that have emerged primarily online (such as otherkin or transethnics), or even general articles or posts on heavy tumblr users. (Other posts about sociology of social media would be welcome, but mostly interested in tumblr for right now.)

posted by lhude sing cuccu to Society & Culture (2 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Tumblr and its culture(s) are developing so rapidly, you're probably ONLY going to find pretty informal examinations of it right now (not scholarly articles yet).

You might try looking at the blogs of people who study sociology of social media generally -- danah boyd, for example, has written about Twitter and MySpace and has some tumblr material on her blog. Some of her theories about identity performance in online spaces I think are relevant to your questions about subcultures and "calling out" other people in front of an audience.
posted by pantarei70 at 5:20 PM on January 9, 2014

As Pantarei70 already pointed out, it's a bit early for there to be much in the way of centralized effort here, but I can give you a few items:
posted by Su at 8:04 PM on January 9, 2014

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