Digital Gender

As digital technologies become ubiquitous and pervasive parts of society, digital technology shapes and becomes shaped by the production of gender in increasingly complex ways

Digital Gender
Research on digital gender tends to fall into one of two camps. In one camp, utopians view digital technology as a means to liberate mankind from the social shackles of gender. They hail the capacity of digital technology to democratise the production of our increasingly digitalized world and to enable bodily transcendence. In the other camp, dystopians view digital technology as the realm of white masculinity. They stress the strong link between digital technology and hegemonic masculine scripts, whereby deviant women and men are excluded from participation and marginalized online.

Though these broad narratives have offered key insight into the production of digital gender, they are now challenged by the ubiquity and pervasiveness of digital technologies. Following the social and mobile revolution, the role of digital technology in the production of gender is indeed becoming increasingly complex. The ongoing digitalization of society is blurring the boundaries between the "virtual" and the "real", calling for new perspectives of how digital technology both shapes and become shaped by the production of gender. While most research have approached the digital as a distinct space, this blurring makes it impossible to understand digital gender outside of the societal processes and contexts that situate our digital technology use.

The Digital Gender research network currently consists of 15 members and spans across multiple affiliations. Through novel theoretical, methodological and empirical investigations, the network seeks to challenge normative views of gender, race, and sexuality and to uncover the role of digital technology in their production (see manifesto). In particular, the network aims to shed light on how particular digital technologies maintain or challenge societal norms and provide links between these outcomes and digital materialities. Noting how the relationship between digital technology and social practices become increasingly complex, the network also engages in theoretical and methodological exploration. The research network seeks to promote such research through the creation of workshops, conference tracks, special issues and edited volumes on digital gender.

To further digital gender research, the network seeks to promote and create workshops, conference tracks, special issues and anthologies that explore empirical, methodological and empirical aspects of digital gender.

Contact persons: Anna Foka ( and Viktor Arvidsson (

Digital Gender: A Manifesto - Report on the Research Workshop Digital Gender, Theory, Methodology, and Practice

Organized events:
January 2015 - First Monday: Special Issue on Digital Gender (CFP)
March 2014 - International Workshop on Digital Gender

Umeå University members:
- Viktor Arvidsson, Department of Informatics, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies, Swedish Center for Digital Innovation
- Linda Berg, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies
- Maria Carbin, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies
- Anna Croon Fors, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies, Department of Informatics
- Elise M. Dermineur, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study Uppsala University and Umeå University

- Emma Ewadotter, Sliperiet
- Anna Foka, HUMlab
- Anna Johansson, HUMlab
- Erik Carlsson, Culture and Media Studies
- Jennie Olofsson, HUMlab
- Ambra Trotto, Interactive Institute, ICT

External members:
- Micha Cárdenas
- ginger coons
- Annette Markham
- Roopika Risam
- Nishant Shah
- Jenny Sunden

  • A few brief facts

    Digital Gender is an international research network that through the creation of workshops, special issues and edited volumes aim to foster novel empirical, methodological, and theoretical investigations into the role of digital technology for the production of gender. The research network was formed in 2014, following the first international workshop on "Digital Gender: Theory, Methodology, and Practice", held at Humlab, March 12-14, 2014.

    The inaugurating event through which this group was formed was financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

    The Digital Gender research network brings together researchers with diverse backgrounds and research interests: e.g., Anthropology, Communication Studies, Culture and Education, Cultural History, Digital Humanities, Ethnology, Feminist Technoscience, Gender Studies, Information Systems, Political Science, Postcolonial Studies.