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The representation of gendered social actors across five manosphere communities on Reddit

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/08/2022
Issue number2
Number of pages31
Pages (from-to)291-321
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper investigates the representation of gendered social actors in a specialised corpus of 10.9 million words collected from five Reddit communities associated with the so-called manosphere: incels (involuntary celibates), Men Going Their Own Way (male separatists), pick-up artists, men’s rights activists, and a group dedicated to wider discussions of ‘red pill’ philosophy. 34 gendered social actor terms were identified as key-key-words across the manosphere corpora. Both male and female social actors are referenced using relational terms, while the latter are also referenced using derogatory terms and the former are referenced using terms for kinship and in-group identification.

We then analyse the consistent collocates (Baker et al., 2008) of the four most frequent gendered social actor terms (women, girls, men and guys), to establish the topics, descriptions, and actions associated with the social actors across the five groups. Gendered social actors were constructed in essentialist dichotomies, with women and girls, although objectified and passivated in dating/sexual contexts, being represented as violent towards male social actors and as holding a privileged position over men in wider society.
The anti-feminist ideology reflected in manosphere discourse can be seen as a more extreme version of mainstream discourse, into which it may be re-imported.