The manosphere and networked misogyny

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The “manosphere” refers to a heterogenous group of online communities that broadly promotes anti-feminism, misogyny, and hateful ideas about women, trans, and non-binary people. These communities attract, among other others, involuntary celibates (Incels), Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), pick-up artists (PUA), and Men’s Rights Activists (MRA). Although these communities are different, they share a broad ideology that women are to blame for a society in which men are victims, and that feminism is the cause of societal ills. These communities frequently endorse pseudo-science to justify male supremacy and produce hateful and violent narratives, which can lead to extremist behaviour with dangerous and fatal real-world consequences. 

First appearing in social media in the late 2000s-early 2010s, these groups are broadly understood to have historical roots from movements in the 1970s and 1980s. Although the numbers of individuals who frequent these online spaces are hard to determine, the communities they have come to represent have become more prominent in the mainstream due to well-publicised violent (and often tragic) actions undertaken by self-proclaimed members. Additionally, some prominent influencers, who share overlapping ideologies with the manosphere, find audiences beyond the online community in the mainstream media. 

This collection invites research that interrogates the causes, impact, and repercussions of this manosphere and networked misogyny. Research that engages with the following, and other, topics is welcomed:

  • The reasons why and how men enter and exit the manosphere or similar communities
  • What makes men vulnerable to the manosphere ideologies
  • How these communities function and evolve, and network across online spaces
  • The relationship between online groups and real-life violence
  • The mechanics of radicalisation and extremism within networks of misogyny
  • Analysis of memes, trolls, and other online tools used in such communities
  • How influencers and public figures capitalize and cultivate the manosphere
  • Discursive strategies used by members of the manosphere to support their ideology and ideas
  • Overlap between the manosphere and other movements, such as the far right and white supremacy groups
  • Mainstreaming of manosphere ideas and ideologies
  • Counter narratives and movements (e.g., #metoo movement)
  • Toxic narratives and ideologies in other spheres (e.g., arts, culture, politics)

We welcome submissions that employ diverse methodologies and draw from a range of disciplines, including: sociology, anthropology, ethnography, gender studies, psychology, media studies, political science, among others.

This Collection supports and amplifies research related to SDG 5 - Gender Equality.

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