Reflections of RL in The Virtual World
The aim of the paper is to analyse how young people present themselves on the photographs of dating and communication website Rate. Rate is known as a site where people can post a short description of themselves and photos, so that other users could give their points and comments. The purpose of my study was to analyse how the youngsters on the website formulate their gender identities in order to appeal to potential partners.
Content analysis involving elements of visual analysis methods developed by Goffman (1979), Kress and van Leeuwen (1996), Kang (1997), and Bell (2001), was carried out to analyse the photos of youngsters who appeared in the TOP 100 of the most remarkable people in Rate in a period of six months. Altogether 139 women and 144 men from Rate were analysed to find out how the gender identity is reflected on the photographs.
The results suggest that the photos of the most remarkable girls play with the stereotypical codes of sexuality presented by the media with the hope of meeting the social expectations of ideal female beauty. In case of boys, two contradictory types of masculinity tend to be most popular – the age-old Macho man and 21 century Metrosexual.
Reflections of RL in The Virtual World
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