Accepted paper:

Being and becoming in a Swedish rural feminine social forum on the Internet

Authors:

Elisabeth Wollin Elhouar (School of History and Contemporary Studies)
Jenny Ingridsdotter (Södertörn University)

Paper short abstract:

We examine material from an Internet forum for women living in Swedish rural areas. The aim is to study different kinds of femininities visible here. What kinds of subject positions and identity constructions are made possible? What do the negotiations of the position ‘rural girl’ look like?

Paper long abstract:

The Internet forum Glesbygdsgirls - which meaning in English could be translated to Rural girls or Remote girls - is a Swedish forum on Facebook, for women living in, or in other ways are connected to, sparsely populated and rural areas of Sweden. The Internet forum has an activist approach, linked to power relations between the urban and the rural, but is open for all kinds of rural experiences in the everyday, not necessarily political ones. This paper has an examining approach where we will try out some analytical ideas from our research conducted in this forum. The aim of our research is to study the different kinds of femininities visible in the forum. What kinds of subject positions and identity constructions are made possible? What do the negotiations of the position 'rural girl' look like in this particular space of social media? The methodology is so called nethnography; the study is based on observations of the members' contributions in the forum, as written words and photographs, as well as the communication between the members, due to certain contributions. The material is saved and organised in screen shots. Empirical themes include specific everyday actions due to rural living, driving forces and ideals of real enthusiasm intertwined with possibilities of rural actions. Other themes are contested rural dwellings where photos depicting possibilities of rural livelihoods interlock and negotiate discourses of urban space as the only place for women to lead meaningful lives.

panel Rur01
Rural dwellings: various ways of homemaking