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"It's just the thing you do": Physical and digital fields and the flow of capitals for young people's gendered identity negotiation

Metcalfe, Sarah N; Llewellyn, Anna

"It's just the thing you do": Physical and digital fields and the flow of capitals for young people's gendered identity negotiation Thumbnail


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Sarah Metcalfe sarah.n.harding@durham.ac.uk
PGR Student Doctor of Philosophy



Abstract

This article examines young people’s negotiation of their identities in relation to gender. We explore this through two important sites for young people – physical relationships in the school environment, and mainstream social media sites (e.g. Instagram and Facebook) – with the suggestion that social media is an important site for young people that permits discursive and identity exploration. Specifically, we use a Bourdieusian framework to examine the flow of capital between fields as well as the identities that arise. We draw on the experiences of young people aged 15 or 16 from 70 semi-structured interviews (33 young men, 37 young women; mean age = 15.7) at three socio-economically contrasting schools. We argue that for capital to be accrued, young people’s identities are largely required to be consistent between the physical and digital worlds. Moreover, these identities are heavily tied to polarized gender stereotypes of heightened masculinities and femininities. Thus, a young person’s popularity (reinforced in both the fields of social media and schooling) is partly maintained by the negotiation of their gendered body and a gendered identity.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 23, 2019
Online Publication Date Oct 23, 2019
Publication Date Jan 1, 2020
Deposit Date Oct 1, 2019
Publicly Available Date Oct 2, 2019
Journal Journal of Adolescent Research
Print ISSN 0743-5584
Electronic ISSN 1552-6895
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 1
Pages 84-110
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0743558419883359
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1290253

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