Author: Pescitelli, Aynsley Ann
Few studies explicitly address the topic of cyberbullying by including the experiences of post-secondary students and even fewer studies explore cyberbullying experiences of LGBTQ students. This qualitative, exploratory study examines post-secondary students’ experiences with homophobia and transphobia in online environments. In-depth, semi- structured interviews were conducted with six participants, using a grounded theory approach and NVivo 10 software. Prevalent themes include safe online spaces, cyberbullying in the LGBTQ community, discrimination through site design, use of activism to combat discrimination, and perceived reasons why cyberbullying occurs. The most common reasons relate to disconnect/detachment in online contexts, strongly held opinions and beliefs, and wider societal acceptance of transphobia. Sykes and Matza’s techniques of neutralization were applied to participants’ accounts, with four of five techniques emerging from the findings. When examining interviewees’ perceptions of cyberbullying intentions, the most commonly found techniques were denial of the victim and denial of injury.
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Thesis advisor: Burtch, Brian
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