Project status: In progress

The overall aim of this research is to explore men's experiences of contemporary digital media. There will be a specific focus upon Internet use but we will seek to understand how other things (such as digital television, digital games and mobile phones) inform this practice. Themes will include relationships, play and leisure, work and commerce, health and wellbeing and ethics.

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Research leader
Research team
Organisational unit
Lead unit ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation Other units
Start date
23 September 2013
End date
31 December 2017
Research areas


For more information, contact Ben Light.



It is recognised that technology can be gendered and is implicated in gender relations. However, it continues to be the case that men's experiences with technology are underexplored – a situation more pronounced where digital media is concerned. Over the past 30 years we have witnessed a dramatic rise in the pervasiveness of digital media across many parts of the world and as associated with wide ranging aspects of our lives. Given this context, it is necessary to undertake more work to understand men's engagements with digital media, the implications this might have for masculinities and the analysis of gender relations more generally.

We are 15 years away from the very early studies directly concerned with men and digital media and almost 10 years away from Lohan and Faulkner's (2004) call for more attention to men, masculinities and technology. Whilst some important and influential work has emerged during this time, there is still much to be done, as the majority of work in these areas focuses much more on gay, bisexual and queer men and is highly oriented towards sexuality and sexual practice. This work is important and should continue; however, we also need to broaden the scope of our research with men, their masculinities and their engagements with digital media. To begin to unpack this area, this pilot study will engage with theorizations of the properties of digital media networks coupled with ideas from masculinity studies. Using this framework, it will consider the rise in networked masculinities – those masculinities (co)produced and reproduced with digitally networked publics.

Drawing on data from an online survey and individual interviews with men who use digital technologies, the research questions guiding this project include:

  • Networks are argued to have large scale effects – to what extent might such networked technologies, like the Internet, influence our understanding of what masculinity is?
  • Digital networks can allow things such as images, text and video to be easily copied, and reproduced. What does this mean for the transmission, presentation and repurposing of ideas of masculinity?
  • It is argued that certain digital media allow for a degree of anonymity. If anonymity is possible, what opportunities are there for men to do things that would be more difficult for them to do if people know who they were?
  • Digital media such as the Internet, are positioned as having archival like qualities. What might this mean for how we store and recall different presentations of what it means to be masculine?
  • We can now readily search the Internet. How important is it that people have the ability to unearth diverse presentations of what it can mean to be masculine?
  • How do audiences respond to networked masculinities? That is, what do people think of how men and masculinities are created and shared with digital media?

The core aim of this study is to develop a theory of networked masculinities.

The men included in this study will primarily be located in 3 major metropolitan areas in Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney), however, a small number of interviews (20) are likely to take place in the UK and the United States. As the Survey is online, we may have participants from around the world, but we intend only to promote it within Australia.

Become a participant

We're looking for men aged 18 and above who are regular users of digital media to complete our short survey.

Complete our survey