ABSTRACT. This paper investigates textual activity in the comments section of an online newspaper in which participants respond to a brief article on a Brazilian soap-opera featuring a lesbian couple. Concentrating on this online interaction, it explores the pragmatics of iterability and probes the tension between repetition (of conservative views of sexuality) and renewal (its resignification potential), taking repetition and difference as intertwined domains. Theoretically, it draws on contemporary studies in the field of sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and to the so-called philosophy of difference (Deleuze 1994). Methodologically, it tracks down text trajectories (Briggs 2005) to trace part of the Discourses on gender and sexuality that precipitate infectiously in this online environment, investigating how they interpellate interlocutors and locate them in the sociocultural world. My interest is to observe the intercon- nection between textual friction, scale shifts and resemiotization (Blommaert 2005; 2007). The analysis, focusing on audiences’ uptake, detects oscillating movements around meanings attributed to sexuality – from normalization toward transformation – and shows that textual itineraries can be resisted, alternative meanings explored, and cemented plots re-imagined. pp. 241–261

Keywords: sexuality; iterability; textual friction; repetition-difference

How to cite: Fabrício, Branca Falabella (2016), “Repetition-Differentiation in an Online Debate on Sexualities: Re-Imagining Identity Meanings,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 6(1): 241–261.

Received 17 August 2015 • Received in revised form 17 March 2016
Accepted 18 March 2016 • Available online 1 April 2016


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Department of Modern Languages,
Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies Program
in Applied Linguistics,
Federal University of Rio de Janeiro

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