Peripherical manospheres. Young people, homosociality and digital practices
This paper rearticulates the definition of the manosphere by considering everyday male digital media practices as part of a series of peripheral manospheres, connected, often without a clear reference, with the more articulated galaxy that makes up what we now call the manosphere. The article is based on the analysis of 36 in-depth interviews with young people aged 15 to 19 who live in different Italian regions. Through the analysis of boys’ narratives, it is possible to explore spaces that are usually difficult to observe – private WhatsApp groups – to bring out the practices of masculinity that intertwine male homosocial relationships with the characteristics and affordances of digital media. The analysis reveals how the definitions and maintenance of the group, the use of humour, and the digital girl-watching maintain and reproduce specific forms of masculinity that lead young people to dialogue, frequently unconsciously, with the languages, contents and practices of the manosphere.
Keywords: young people, digital media, peripherical manosphere, homosociality, boyhood.
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