Gender and class inequality in social networking sites

Nowadays, almost every adolescent in Spain is a regular user of digital technologies and Internet communication based apps. The proficiency of young people in these self-generated media provides them with tools to build their own identities online and negotiate their relationships with peers. However, the cyber-utopias, which predicted that the Internet would become a tool able to overcome the inequalities based on the body, failed to grasp how the online world has in fact emerged as a place where adolescents’ (and adults’) bodies are used as commodities. The providers of social networking services get their content from their users’ bodies and their activities, where users are rewarded if they perform their gender identities appropriately. Therefore, and regarding the (traditional) cultural understanding of gender difference (femininities and masculinities), the Internet has become a showcase which displays corporal capital and reproduces gender stereotypes and ideologies of inequality. Moreover, an intersectional approach will be taken in order to consider how cultural capital and social class participate to the stigmatisation of specific kinds of femininity and, at the same time, how this stigmatisation and social distinction contributes to dialectics of resistance between social groups. The session will based on the research conducted by me and my colleagues (Iolanda Tortajada, Cilia Willem, Lucrecia Crescenzi) these last years. During the talk, we will be able to discuss qualitative methodologies, patriarchal values in research and contemporary culture, and how risk assessment of adolescents’ use of the Internet should take into account the perils caused by taken-for-granted knowledge. When this research began, in 2008, we wanted to deepen into the cultural causes of gender violence; we will talk about what young people’s activities in social networking sites can tell us about it.

Tipo de actividad: Charla

Fecha y Hora: 9 de febrero de 2017, 12:00

Lugar: Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC)

Email para reservas e información:

Organiza: ICMAB-CSIC

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