Reinforcement and Deconstruction: The Impact of Digital Media on Gender Identity Understanding and Expression


Digital media, the technology translating all information into numerical form regardless of its medium, has almost penetrated every aspect of the life of the masses. Immersing in a world saturated with digital technology, individuals seem to be constantly influenced by the digital products that they are exposed to. One aspect of this impact may be their self-cognition and self-expression of gender. As this influence is closely related to the self-awareness and development of humans, it is necessary to examine how this effect is achieved and its possible influences on the multitude. Given this background, this essay will combine academic theories on participation, remediation, and bricolage in digital culture, as well as gender presentation in various digital media forms such as movies, music, video games, and social platforms, to analyse how digital technology shapes individual recognition and expression of their gender identities. In terms of the outline of the structure, this essay will be divided into four parts. Firstly, how digital media may reinforce the gender stereotype will be examined with reference to specific examples of various digital media forms. Secondly, the potential of digital media for challenging the gender binary will be analysed with supporting cases in life. This will be followed by a reflection on how these two impacts of digital media on the individual understanding and expression of the gender issue may be achieved. Finally, a conclusion will be made, which argues that digital media may both reinforce and challenge gender stereotypes as it tends to imbue and reinforce hetero gender stereotypes (male as hegemonic, masculine and active; female as feminine, affectionate, nurturing, passive and sometimes objectified) in patriarchy, on the one hand, while also seems to provide an opportunity to deconstruct the traditional gender ideology on the other hand.

Author Information
Jialu Chen, King’s College London, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: IICAH2023
Stream: Media

This paper is part of the IICAH2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Chen J. (2023) Reinforcement and Deconstruction: The Impact of Digital Media on Gender Identity Understanding and Expression ISSN: 2432-4604 – The IAFOR International Conference on Arts & Humanities – Hawaii 2023 Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon