R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Feminine respectability and sexuality for young women online

Jennie Sivenbring, Frida Siekkinen


In this article, we explore aspects of femininity as social capital for young women in one of Sweden’s largest Facebook groups, designated for women only. By conceptualizing the online forum as an affinity space (Gee, 2005) and by using theoretical concepts of bridging and bonding capital we analyze entries in the Facebook group that we identify as the Girlfriends. Empirical material is selected from a larger dataset with a focus on entries where young women ask for and provide advice. This study illustrates how femininity is connected with normative notions of respectability and sexuality as female traits and that these are reinforced rather than reduced in interactions between women in the group. Such aspects of femininity can be used as a form of social capital for women online.


Social network sites; online behavior; interaction; social capital; femininity;

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v24i1.9103

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