Hacktivism and the Male-Only Stereotype

New Media & Society, Vol. 18, Issue 8, 2016

40 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2016 Last revised: 26 Mar 2017

See all articles by Leonie Tanczer

Leonie Tanczer

University College London - Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP)

Date Written: January 14, 2015

Abstract

This research explores hacktivism as a new form of online political activism. It uses qualitative interviews with a gender-equal sample of ten self-defined hacktivists to address issues of gender and the discursive strategies used by males and females to handle the hacktivist community’s male-only stereotype. The semi-structured interviews are analysed using Foucauldian discourse analysis (FDA). The analysis indicates that male hacktivists relate to this dominant male-only representation through discursive techniques such as the suppression of gender (Male Oblivious Discourse) or mechanisms of vindication (Male Justification Discourse). Female hacktivists use the accentuation of gender and sexism to counteract male-dominant discourses and establish Female Discourses of Resistance (Emphasis Discourse; Negation Discourse). These gender-related argumentative positions and rhetorical mechanisms demonstrate how the male-only stereotype is created and maintained, and how it affects not only hacktivists’ talk and sense-making, but also their identity and the hacktivist actions they perform.

Keywords: Foucauldian discourse analysis, gender, hacktivism, stereotypes

Suggested Citation

Tanczer, Leonie, Hacktivism and the Male-Only Stereotype (January 14, 2015). New Media & Society, Vol. 18, Issue 8, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2758704

Leonie Tanczer (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) ( email )

Boston House
36–38 Fitzroy Square
London, W1t 3EY
United Kingdom

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