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Gender Trouble in Web 2.0. Gender Perspectives on Social Network Sites, Wikis and Weblogs

Tanja Carstensen

Abstract


This paper explores gender relations on social network sites, wikis and weblogs: the gendered design and use, presentations of gendered identities, possibilities for feminist, queer and gender politics, and the negotiations of gender topics in web 2.0. It provides a review of early feminist discourses regarding the internet and some theoretical considerations on web 2.0 and feminism. It goes on to discuss initial empirical results obtained from other studies about gender relevance in web 2.0 as well as my own findings based on considerations of online documentation and press reports about two gender relevant incidents in web 2.0. This overview shows that while an insistence on binary gender roles can be observed in the design and use of social network sites, weblogs offer space for diverse identity constructions as well as for queer subject construction and politics without referring to offline identities. Finally, wikis as well as social network sites appear to provide a platform for tough struggles about gender issues


Keywords


internet, web 2.0, gender, queer, social network site, wiki, weblog, MySpace, Wikipedia

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