Grindr as a Research Tool

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper reflects on the benefits and challenges of using Grindr as a research tool in analysing patterns of self-presentation and interaction between gay and bisexual men who have sex with men (gbMSM). By using Grindr as a research tool during my PhD it was possible to gather diverse data types remotely and observe patterns of self-presentation at a micro level by utilising the locative features of Grindr in tandem with a GPS scrambling mobile application. This approach offered the unique perspective of learning about sexual selves in what were geographically proximate areas populated by culturally different categories of gbMSM. This technological and methodological pluralism was a pragmatic approach that allowed for the efficient collection of three strands of data (visual/survey/interview) that were cross-examined to corroborate or contradict findings made in each. At a time when intimacy and sex are increasingly organised through dating applications, it is imperative that innovative and robust qualitative methods are explored and developed that can capture illuminating data that can be further contextualised geographically and culturally using GPS-enabled applications. The paper addresses questions about the empirical observation of visual data, sampling, analysis and the ethics of collecting data relative to gbMSM with a focus on gathering data from gbMSM who are less open about their sexual identity and practices.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
Title of host publicationGrindr as a Research Tool
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2023
EventRecreating the World: Critique, Control and Crisis in New Social Realities - SETU Waterford
Duration: 24 Mar 202325 Mar 2023


ConferenceRecreating the World


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