Welcome - by Joanna Chojnicka


Welcome to the website of my project "Constructing femininity, masculinity and sexuality in German, Latvian and Polish social media discourses"**, realized from December 1st 2015 at the Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies (FB10) of the University of Bremen. The project belongs to the activities of the Postcolonial Language Studies team chaired by Eeva Sippola.
Visit the website of the Arbeitsgruppe Postcolonial Studies: www.poco.uni-bremen.de.
Visit my site on Academia.edu.

This website's intended functions are numerous. It is meant to serve as a repository for all sorts of materials found online that need to be assembled in one place. It will also provide basic information on the project and monitor its progress. It may become a resource for students of discourse analysis and gender and sexuality studies, offering some suggestions on organizing one's work or on work with scientific literature. It will contain announcements for upcoming project-related events as well, and, last but not least, smuggle in some academic activism from time to time. The sidebar to the right of this text contains a selection of project-related links.


Es meklēju trans*personas intervijām un/vai sadarbībai
Sīkāka informācija:

Visām ieinteresētām personām
Mani sauc Joanna Chojnicka un no 2015. gada Brēmenes universitātē pētu sievišķības, vīrišķības un seksualitātes konstruēšanas strateģijas sociālo mēdiju diskursā Centrālajā un Austrumeiropā. Es meklēju transpersonas, kurām ir blogi/vlogi, kuras es varētu intervēt un/vai kuras būtu gatavas sadarboties ar mani mazliet ilgāk. Protams, es garantēju ievērot privātuma un konfidencialitātes, datu anonimizācijas/aizsardzības un ētikas standartus.

Es uzskatu, ka visā LGBTQ+ spektrā tieši transpersonām tiek pievērsts vismazāk uzmanības. Domāju arī, ka sarunās ar viņām trūkst šā svarīga jautājuma: kas ir sievišķība/vīrišķība? Ko tas nozīmē, būt sievietei vai vīrietim? Norādījumi uz atbildēm uz šiem jautājumiem atrodami stāstījumos, dzīves vēsturēs, stāstos par parastiem, maziem vai lieliem notikumiem, kuriem nav jābūt saistītiem ar dzimuma maiņas procesu. Tāpēc transpersonu blogi un vlogi ir ļoti svarīgs informācijas avots, un tas ir mans pirmais lūgums jums: man ir vajadzīgas transpersonu, kurām ir blogi/vlogi, www adreses un citas kontaktinformācijas.

Otrais lūgums ir saistīts ar manu pētījumu formu. Es ticu, ka zinātniskajam darbam nav tikai jāapraksta pasaule, bet arī jācīnās pret tās netaisnībām. Es gribu apvienot zinātni ar aktīvismu. Ja jūs nolemsiet sadarboties ar mani, es gribēšu jūs vienreiz vai vairākas reizes intervēt, un tās intervijas kļūs par manu informācijas avotu. Bet es arī jautāšu pēc palīdzības jūsu blogu/vlogu un interviju analizēšanā, un pēc jūsu vajadzībām, cerībām un uzskatiem par to informāciju interpretēšanu, prezentēšanu un izmantošanu. Es nekad neuzskatīšu savu viedokli par labāku vai svarīgāku un nekad nepublicēšu pētījuma rezultātus bez jūsu piekrišanas. Man ir svarīgs, lai mans darbs nebūtu aplūkots kā jūsu stāstu un piedzīvojumu izmantošana savas karjeras attīstības labā. Es gribu, lai no tā sanāktu kaut kas labs arī jums.

Es nevaru visu izskaidrot īsā tekstā, tāpēc sirsnīgi aicinu kontaktēties ar mani arī, ja jūs neesat pārliecinātas/ti, ka šāda darbība ir kaut kas priekš jums. Ļoti labprāt satikšos ar jums arī klātienē – būšu Rīgā no 15. līdz 20. martam 2017. Mēs varam runāt latviski vai angliski. Lai sazinātos ar mani, lūdzu izmantot 'Contact' linku lapas labajā augšpusē.
Liels paldies jau iepriekš!


Project summary:
This project investigates constructions of femininity, masculinity and sexuality in German, Latvian and Polish social media discourses. Located within sociology of gender and sexuality, it turns to discourse as a facet of social life. 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. An equally important role is attributed 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 (mainly blogs) guarantees access to various discourses, including those marginalized or absent in traditional mass media. The project constitutes a challenge to the Anglo-American focus in discourse analysis and gender studies in theoretical terms (by drawing from various approaches to gender and sexuality represented by researchers from the three countries) and empirical terms (by examining non- English language material). An important aim of the project is to design an innovative interdisciplinary framework informed by discourse analysis, history and sociology in order to guide the critical analysis of textual data and interpretation of study results. Such a framework could be applied by other researchers in future projects, fostering communication between different disciplines in humanities and social sciences.

*This abbreviation stands for Central and Eastern European (CEE) feminin-ITIES, masculin-ITIES, and sexual-ITIES. It also illustrates nicely what the project is concerned with. It is a shortcut, but without some prior knowledge it is unintelligible. Such is also the nature of stereotypes that we employ in our everyday thinking: stereotypes simplify and generalize the complexity of our experiences, but, paradoxically, they require rather complex cultural knowledge to be understood. Stereotypes are among the most prevalent aspects of any discourse concerned with gender and sexuality.
It is also significant that the abbreviation uses the plural instead of the singular forms - femininities and not femininity, for example. This is done to emphasize that there is no single, universal and natural (way of doing) femininity, masculinity, sexuality. What is considered normal and natural changes across time, across different cultures and societies, and is an aspect of power relations and struggles. Also within the lifetime of an individual person, these understandings and ways of expressing or perfoming them may undergo changes, be flexible and fluid.

** The original title of the project was "Constructing femininity, masculinity and sexual identity in German, Latvian and Polish social media discourses". While working on the project, however,
I realized that the expression sexual identity presupposes a too restrictive view of sexuality.
For more see the project concept.