NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2020, Book 1

Sociology and Healthcare

AN EXPLORATION OF GENDER DIFFERENCES IN TEENAGERS’ USE, CONSUMPTION AND DIGITAL PRODUCTION

PhD Student Corina-Maricica Seserman, Prof. Univ. Dr. Daniela Cojocaru

ABSTRACT

Today’s teenagers have a very close relationship with ICTs and the digital space related to them, as they have impacted the way the youth constructs their sense of self and the tools they use to perform their carefully constructed identity. One key element which influences the way one constructs their views by themselves is within the boundaries set by their biological sex and therefore through the behaviors associated with their asigned gender. Through the symbolic interactionist lense, or more specifically through Goffman's dramaturgical theory on the manner in which one presents him/herself in society, this paper looks at the manner in which teenagers use social media platforms and at the way they consume and create digital content in order to present their gender identity. The way teenagers consume and produce digital content differs and depends on how they interpret their ideals of femininity and masculinity, which are afterwards reproduced in the content they post on their social media pages. Therefore this research is an attempt to understand what are the factors teenagers take in account when consuming and producing content. What gender differences can be observed in regards to new media consumption? What difference can be observed in online activity behaviors between males and females? How do they feel about their gender identity concerning fitting in with their peer group? A mix-methodological approach was engaged in the data collection process. In the first stage of the research highschool students (n=324) from the city of Suceava (Romania) participated in taking an online survey. The initial intent was to meet with the young respondents in person, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic this was deemed impossible. For the second stage of data collection, six of the participants who took the online survey were invited to participate in a focus group designed to grasp a better understanding of the results from the previous stage. The discovered findings uncover engaging gender similarities and differences in social media consumption and the type, subject, matter and style in which they posted their content, but also in regards to the performance of the self between the online and offline space.

KEYWORDS

teenagers, online activity, gender identity, symbolic interactionism, social media

REFERENCE

NORDSCI International Conference 2020, Book 1, Conference Proceedings, ISSN 2603-4107, ISBN 978-619-7495-11-9, AN EXPLORATION OF GENDER DIFFERENCES IN TEENAGERS’ USE, CONSUMPTION AND DIGITAL PRODUCTION, 237-245 pp, DOI paper 10.32008/NORDSCI2020/B1/V3/24