Amplified gender binaries in online heavy metal spaces

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract


This paper aims to explore the ways in which traditional binary conceptions of gender identity are amplified through the limitations and opportunities provided by technology associated with online social spaces. Firstly, I will retrace the history of thinking that surrounds definitions of gender identity. This history is one which begins with an inflexible binary system of female and male with little room to accommodate experiences of gender that stray from this rigid model. Feminist and Queer theories have allowed us to understand gender in ways that challenge the bounds of heteronormative binary opposites and to think about gender as much less rigid. With this understanding, I will examine the ways in which technology has influenced the way we create and interpret gender identities in online heavy metal fan groups. From clothing, to surgery, to online communication, development of new technologies has dramatically changed the way in which we understand gender identity. It is the position of this paper, however, that with increased access to social media heteronormative binary gender identities persist and are even exaggerated. My research suggests that this is a result of the inherent opportunities within the bounds of communication technology for anonymity and pseudonymity and participants’ aim of positioning themselves in relation to a ‘virtual’ other.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKeep it simple, make it fast! DIY cultures, spaces and places
Subtitle of host publicationbook of abstracts
EditorsPaula Guerra, Andy Bennett
Place of PublicationPorto, Portugal
PublisherUniversidade do Porto
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)9789898648785
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventKeep it Simple Make it Fast! DIY Cultures, Spaces and Places: DIY Cultures, Spaces and Places - Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Letras, Porto, Portugal
Duration: 12 Jul 201615 Jul 2016
Conference number: 3


ConferenceKeep it Simple Make it Fast! DIY Cultures, Spaces and Places
Abbreviated titleKISMIF


  • social media
  • gender
  • heavy metal
  • technology


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