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Media, Gender & Identity book details

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Website by
David Gauntlett.

Kathryn Woodward
quotes copyright
© The Open
University 1997


This is quite a long page -- scroll down to see the sections and links.

Visit the identity and media culture / icons site (pictured right) which provides a multimedia guide to ways in which individuals connect their personal identities with media icons, drawing out themes from students' experience.


The best book on identity in relation to media cultures, to the best of my knowledge, is Identity and Difference, edited by Kathryn Woodward in the Culture, Media and Identities Open University series, published by Sage (1997). Introducing the concept of identity, Woodward says:

'This book is about identity because identity matters, both in terms of social and political concerns within the contemporary world and within academic discourses where identity has been seen as conceptually important in offering explanations of social and cultural changes...
Identity can be seen as the interface between subjective positions and social and cultural situations... Identity gives us an idea of who we are and of how we relate to others and to the world in which we live. Identity marks the ways in which we are the same as others who share that position, and the ways in which we are different from those who do not.' (pp. 1-2).

On how identities are connected with the world of media and the images which it surrounds us with, she writes:

‘Representation as a cultural process establishes individual and collective identities, and symbolic systems provide possible answers to the questions: who am I?; what could I be?; who do I want to be?’ (p. 14).

Identity, to be sure, is a complicated business, and the ways in which it connects with media consumption are not easy to identify.

This page provides links to material about identity, and in particular gender and identity; to webzines where people express their own identity through their displays on the internet (there's loads of those -- this is just a selection); to websites where people's identities are bound up with the love of something from popular culture (sites by fans -- again, there's thousands of these); and to sites about other markers of identity -- such as piercings.


This is one of our favourite links. The very nicely designed webzine gURL has the final word on identity and appearance in its looks aren't everything pages. See in particular the interactive paper doll psychology activity and the virtual makeover facility. Multimedia was invented for this.


Melty -- 'a personal zine of pop and politics'

SlantGirl's webzine (and see her links)

Disgruntled Housewife: 'Your Guide to Modern Living & Intersex Relationships'

GeekGirl . . . AngstGrrl



See Queer Theory and Judith Butler on this site.

Ma Vie En Rose (official site and another site) --French film about gender and identity and media images of these.

ReTooling Play -- article on gendered toys

Genderplex -- An 'electronic exhibition' on gender identities (with gender links page)


GenTech -- gender, technology and identity pages

Gender and Technology -- interview with Sadie Plant, author of Zeroes and Ones


Body Modification E-Zine

Rec.arts.bodyart: Piercing FAQ 8: Historical Information

Excite Lifestyle -- pages on piercing


There are lots of sites on the web where people have express their enthusiasm for something from popular culture, and clearly in a way their identity is connected with the thing that they are a fan of (or their idea of what that represents).
I would suggest you look up your own interests using a search engine like Yahoo. Here are a few fan sites picked at almost-random:

A Wonder Woman website

Another Wonder Woman website

Spiderman's unofficial home

Rudy's Amazing Spiderman webpage
...or try a whole page of Spiderman links


Madonna has many fan sites on the web, and since Madonna herself has brought issues of image and identity to the fore these can be interesting. Start with the excellent introduction to the academic work on Madonna and identity in Madonna’s Revenge by Annalee Newitz. Then see what you make of these...


Sindri's Madonna Page

Dreams of Madonna

The Despair Planet

Psycho Madonna Wannabe Homepage (lots of Madonna digital "art")

Ms Ciccone's Madonna Homepage
(a kind of directory or family of Madonna fans)

Madonna: The Girlie Page, which includes Blonde Ambitions: The Madonna look-alike page

A slightly more personal site -- though they're all personal -- is Emily's Madonna Spotlight; see in particular The story behind Emily's Madonna Spotlight. Emily lists bits of lyrics she finds particularly inspirational; her explanations of her favourite songs and videos is also interesting.

The fanzine Absolute Ciccone ('about expressing yourself') includes a student's account of the course on Madonna at the University of Amsterdam.


There is a site for the Open University course D318: Culture, media and identities which may be of interest, though there's not much on it.