On-line constructions of metrosexuality and masculinities: A membership categorisation analysis

Matthew Hall, Brendan Gough, Sarah Seymour-Smith, Susan Hansen

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The relatively recent growth of identity categories for men participating in non-conventional masculine activities can be linked to contemporary consumption and lifestyle opportunities (Gill et al., 2005). While there have been various studies pertaining to media representations of ‘metrosexuality’, ‘new’ masculinities, and the marketing of health and beauty products to men, we currently know little about how men define, ascribe to and disavow contemporary identity markers such as ‘metrosexual’. The existence of on-line forums dedicated to the discussion of metrosexuality provides an obvious opportunity to examine contemporary masculinities. In this paper we report on a study of one such internet forum, using membership categorisation analysis (Sacks, 1972, 1992) to investigate the deployment of metrosexuality and related identity categories. Our analysis highlights the masculinised parameters through which metrosexuality is taken up (and rejected), which include notions of vanity, conspicuous consumption, professional status and sexual prowess. The continued influence of hegemonic forms of masculinity in this context is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQueering Language, Gender and Sexuality
ISBN (Print)9781781794937
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Sept 2017


  • membership categorisation analysis
  • metrosexuality
  • masculinity
  • sexuality
  • online identities


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