[Air-L] MySpace swearing - new paper

m.thelwall at blueyonder.co.uk m.thelwall at blueyonder.co.uk
Tue Oct 2 15:15:47 PDT 2007

I think sites like MySpace that are full of informal comments are a
goldmine of information for anyone interested in informal communication
and culture. I don't think we've properly started to exploit this
opportunity yet.
Comments welcome on the article below (submitted to a journal):

Thelwall, M. (2007). Fk yea I swear: Cursing and gender in MySpace.

Abstract: Youth-orientated social network sites like MySpace are important
venues for socialising and identity expression. Analysing such sites can
therefore give a timely window into otherwise hidden aspects of
contemporary culture. In this article MySpace member home pages are used
to analyse swearing in the U.S. and U.K. The results indicate that almost
all young MySpaces and about half of middle-aged MySpaces contain some
swearing, for both males and females. There was no significant gender
difference in the U.K. for strong swearing, especially for younger users
(16-19). This is perhaps the first large-scale evidence of gender equality
in strong swearing frequency in any informal English language use context.
In contrast, U.S. male MySpaces contain significantly more strong swearing
that those of females. The U.K. female assimilation of traditionally male
swearing in the informal context of MySpace is suggestive of deeper
changes in gender roles in society, possibly related to the recent rise in
‘ladette culture’.

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