Introducing masculinity studies to information systems research: the case of gaydar

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Abstract

I believe that studies of men's gendered experiences of information systems are needed. In order to support this claim, I introduce the area of Masculinity Studies to Information Systems research and, using this, present an exploratory analysis of an internet dating website for gay men - Gaydar. The information system, which forms part of the Gaydar community, is shown to shape, and be shaped by the members as they accept and challenge aspects of it as related to their identities. In doing this, I show how the intertwined processes of information systems development and use contribute to the creation of diverse interpretations of masculinity within a group of men. In sum, my analysis highlights different kinds of men and different versions of masculinity that can sometimes be associated with different experiences of information systems. The implications of this work centre on the need to expand our knowledge of men's gendered experiences with information systems, to reflect upon processes of technology facilitated categorisation and to consider the influences that contribute to the roll out of particular software features along with the underlying rationales for market segmentation in the software and software-based services industries.

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  • HM Sociology
  • Other

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