How Information Technology Re Moulds Hegemonic Gender Identity Sociology Essay Essay

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The increasing popularity of cyberspace leads to a important impact on societal development. The celebrated web browsers Internet Explorer and the Netscape Navigator was introduced to public in 1996. At that clip, no one knew how the Internet influenced people ‘s life. Nowadays, people who have sufficient resources to entree the Internet must hold experienced diverseness of societal phenomenon in the Internet. Forum, Blogging, Social Networking Site ( SNS ) and Instant Messenger ( IM ) are all different sorts of signifiers of societal package which is indispensable to our life

The early research of cyperspace shows that persons engaged in on-line signifiers frequently behaves in a manner that revealed or betrayed their true and indispensable ego. ( Cooley 1992 ) . That means they are building an online individuality which may different from in the existent universe. Dworkin and O’Sullivan ( 2007 ) have conceptualized individualities as individuality work. Identity work means “ the scope of activities persons engage to make, present and sustain personal individualities. ” Internet is a good topographic point that allows persons to interact with many anon. people and they can “ safely ” and “ in private ” engaged in individuality work without physical cues. So if the online engineering offers such a platform to people, people are allowed to make new gender individualities with new societal books and even can project off the bonds of the hegemonic gender.

Gimlin ( 2002 ) stated that Hegemony is a sort of domination without force. In this paper, hegemonic maleness will be focused. Refer about work forces and maleness become of import in our mundane life through the popularity of books like “ Work forces are from Mars, Women are from Venus ( 1992 ) and Why Women Talk and Work force Walk ( 2007 ) . Howson ( 2006 ) pointed out that the seeable involvement and concern in the society about work forces and maleness ‘s emotion is contrasting to the traditional thoughts that masculine merely necessitate to work hard for their household and remain tough in the difficult times. In the tradition, work forces ‘s emotion is undistinguished in the societal facet. As Connell ( 1995 ) mentioned, hegemonic maleness is a sort of “ societal dominance of what it means to be a adult male ” . To be a adult male, strength, aggressiveness, thrust, aspiration, and autonomy are the indispensable features. That means the society has constructed an idealistic image of adult male which emphasizes on stamina. No adult male is willing to show the side of failing in forepart of public.

Thesis statement

With the popularity of the cyberspace, it is important to look into whether the promotion of information engineering is recasting work forces ‘s societal behavior from the practical universe to existent universe which goes against the hegemonic gender norms

B. Findingss and Analysis

Scope of probe

Information seeking is important to one ‘s day-to-day life and work. Nowadays the Internet allows us to look for many-sided information without refering face jobs or the grade of familiarity between aliens. In other words, the on-line interaction will non be constrained by the real-life individualities, including gender.

In this paper, on-line forum will be the channel chosen for analysis and Online Support Communities will be the group chosen for probe. Peoples who join the Online Support Communities can demo and seek support to and from others without conventional restrictions such as material resources and propinquity. ( Bambina 2008 ) In existent life, adult females tend to seek friendly relationship, emotionalism and support while work forces incline to portion information and develop actions programs. ( Shapino 2010 ) It would be interesting to happen out whether the namelessness of the cyberspace changes the hegemonic individuality of work forces every bit good as the relevant traditional thoughts imposed on work forces. The focal point of this research paper is on the linguistic communication itself used by the talkers and their pick of subjects and issues through the on-line forum in the Online Support Communities.


This paper will be based on one primary beginning and one secondary beginning. The primary beginning is based on my ain observation. By analyzing two hebdomads treatment from the love back uping forum with a URL, I aim at look intoing how work forces would show their emotion in seeking support or offering support in the facet of love.

The secondary beginning will be based on the research work of the Sociologist Clive Seale ( 2006 ) with the rubric “ Gender adjustment in online malignant neoplastic disease support groups ” . Seale examined the communicating behavior of work forces and adult females when they discuss the malignant neoplastic disease issue on the online forum. He found that the work forces ‘s communicating behavior is different from the dominant constructs of hegemonic maleness. The research work helps demoing the significance of computer-mediated communicating towards the gender ‘s behavior, particularly for work forces.

Restrictions of the survey

There are two chief restrictions of this research. First, the samples selected are excessively little which may act upon the analysis. Besides, it is hard to corroborate every individual person on the cyberspace is exposing the “ existent ” gender individuality. Because of the clip and infinite restraints I had to take the most relevant illustrations to accommodate the intent of my analysis.

Findingss and Analysis from the online love support forum

From the love support forum, work forces seem have no consciences to show their emotion straight to the aliens. After the observation, it shows that work forces in the online love support communities seek advice or support in four chief issues. They are visual aspects, wellness issues, societal accomplishment sweetening, love relationship care and the economic capacity. Work force worry about whether their non-muscular organic structure, losing hair and fleshiness job affect their appeal to ladies. Besides, they uncertain about the trust issue with their twosomes and confound their ain societal communicating accomplishments with adult females. Furthermore, work forces concern whether the fiscal capacity would be the captivation for adult females.

Harmonizing to Coates ( 2003 ) , work forces frequently like to discourse athleticss, political issue, on-line games and intelligence that are non related to personal failure experience with others in the real-life context. However, in the online forum, it demonstrates that work forces do non intentionally avoid the subjects that can uncover their failings. In other words, online forum offers a platform for work forces to diversify work forces ‘s speaking subjects.

Apart from the treatment subjects, the work forces ‘s linguistic communication itself is worthwhile to be concerned. For illustration, there was a adult male attempted to seek love advice from others with unpretentious look. He said, “ I reasonably much cried my eyes out the whole clip and tried urgently to acquire her backaˆ¦I ‘ve already begged for her to come back but that clearly did n’t workaˆ¦ The love I have for her is what I call godly love. ” Beside the love affair relationship, there was another adult male had problems on his hair. He said “ I ‘m traveling bald. I am losing my hairaˆ¦I look a complete imbecile with a shaven caput. What can I make? Can it be regrown without dodgy drugs and side effects? I ‘ll ne’er acquire a girlfriend like this! ” We can see these two work forces are seeking to depict their state of affairs by utilizing linguistic communication points like “ beg ” , “ lose ” , “ cried ” and “ imbecile ” which demoing a great grade of weakness.

Ervo and Johansson ( 2003 ) mentioned that a dominant maleness frequently suppress the unhappiness since work forces can non demo mark of failing which severely reflect the male individualities. The society tends to dismiss work forces ‘s emotional demand in public. With the presupposition work forces are independent and self-sufficing, they should able to last without the love and support in existent universe. So they should speak about their emotions as few as possible. However, the Internet has produced a new institutional context and sets of engineerings that can back up their individuality work. ( Shapiro 2010 ) Because the namelessness of practical communicating in on-line forum, work forces are allowed to move freely in the online forum. They are able to follow emotional look like “ cried ” , show work forces ‘s failings by words like “ beg ” and “ lose ” or even use the “ adult females ‘s empty adjective ” ( Lakoff 1975 ) such as “ Godhead ” which wholly contradict to the hegemonic maleness. Ultimately, work forces can show depression and seek support from other members without the labeling of exposure from the society.

Findingss and Analysis from the Clive Seale ‘s research work ( 2006 )

Searle has compared the communicating behavior and the linguistic communication of male relations and friends of the malignant neoplastic disease patients with work forces with prostate malignant neoplastic disease on the online forum. He found that male relations and friends tend to concentrate on the emotional support while the work forces with prostate malignant neoplastic disease merely concentrate on the malignant neoplastic disease appraisal of hazard and relevant medical information. The male relations and friend proactively involve in emotional communicating because they were confronting the recent decease of their spouse who died with malignant neoplastic disease or confronting relationship troubles with their female spouse as a consequence of spouse ‘s malignant neoplastic disease. Many of them sought aid from other members in the facet of emotions. But the most interesting thing in the research is that after the male relations and friends went through the alleged “ darkness ” with their spouses, these work forces were willing to portion their feeling which can promote other malignant neoplastic disease patients on the online forum.

The linguistic communication they used was rather feminine. For illustration, they frequently adopted the intensive “ truly ” to stress the emotionalism. This state of affairs is similar to Lakoff ‘s ( 1975 ) thought that adult females like to demo strong feeling with intensifier “ so ” . Besides, these work forces shown their failings by citing the words like “ disquieted ” , “ difficult feeling ” , “ panic ” and “ lost ” aˆ¦etc. By stating their bad experiences and problems, work forces seem are seeking to step out the hegemonic maleness norms, at least, in the practical universe.

In add-on to the linguistic communication, these work forces have behaved unconventionally on the online forum. They give attention to other members on the online forum. Harmonizing to Kramer and Thompson ( 2002 ) , work forces are unaccustomed to cover with public assistance bureau and socialized to hold a vigorous sense of autonomy. These outlooks frequently have confined their picks for reacting the care-giving. Nevertheless, in this instance, many of them embraced the new societal behavior and thought it is a valuable divergence from the hegemonic maleness. They were willing to lend in the emotional support and personal experience sharing and unconsciously adopted the adult females ‘s norm in the on-line communicating.

From the practical universe to the existent universe

While we can see that work forces are get downing to take the enterprise to seek emotional support from the communities and offer caring to the communities in the online forum, it illustrates that work forces are altering their societal behavior by uncovering their emotions. So does it merely restraint to the practical universe? The reply decidedly is no. Many researches show that these online forums do matter in people ‘s live in the existent universe. The on-line forum helps interceding the deficiency of support in the existent life and uncovering a clear image of gendered egos and so modifies the real-life cultural context. ( Shaprio 2010 ) The promotion of information engineering is easing the development of new gender individualities. When the work forces emerges themselves in the internet, they can cultivate assorted individualities which ever shaped by the societal and the interpersonal demand. It should be noted that the societal tendency in the online atmosphere can act upon the hereafter of male giving in the emotional facet which involves altering traditional gender functions. ( Kramer and Thompson 2002 ) In other words, if work forces can bit by bit accept to follow the feminine characteristics ( i.e. emotional support ) in the practical universe, they are besides available to convey that online individualities and experiences to the existent life interactions. Therefore, it shows the information engineering truly can recast work forces ‘s societal behavior from the practical universe to existent universe which steps out the hegemonic gender norms

C. Conclusion and Recommendations

In amount, it is undeniable that the Internet non merely provides a platform for people to interchange information, but besides offers a channel that allows people to construct a societal web and a sense of community. With the characteristic of namelessness on the Internet, work forces can show their emotions swimmingly without sing the conventional masculine stereotypes. Besides, after deriving the solidarity in the on-line communities, work forces would hold opportunities to supply emotional support to others. The motion of the maleness allows work forces to take more active functions in attention giving duties.

It is recommended that work forces should affect more engagement in the on-line support communities, particularly in the emotional facet. It is because with the gender individuality alteration in the practical universe, work forces can larn how to care others good and so they can use the art of relation to their ain household and relations in existent life. I believe the frequent interaction and communicating on the on-line forum can intercede the hegemonic maleness for work forces, relieve the societal life force per unit area and heighten the societal relationship among work forces in the existent universe.

Word count: 2102 words

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