Internet dating sites as heterotopias of gender performance: A case study of Taiwanese heterosexual male daters

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Abstract

This article explores the performance of heterosexual masculinity in the Yahoo! Taiwan dating site via a discourse analysis of daters' self-introductions. Seeing the collective representations of masculinities as 'masculine fronts', the research finds that tender, domestic, emotional, passive and victimized fronts dominate the site; in comparison, tough and virile fronts, which reflect hegemonic Taiwanese masculinities, are much less performed. The dating site is argued to act as a heterotopia: it reflects the social imaginaries of appropriate masculinities in women's perspectives; being quasi-anonymous and female-gaze-only, it compensates for the imperfect daily social spaces by allowing the public performance of marginalized masculinities; moreover, it manifests the illusory aspect of hegemonic masculinities, which are presumed to be 'natural', rather than acted out in accordance with the situated social relations and spectatorships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-500
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Volume15
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies

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