R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Feminine respectability and sexuality for young women online


  • Jennie Sivenbring Gothenburg University
  • Frida Siekkinen




Social network sites, online behavior, interaction, social capital, femininity,


In this article, we explore aspects of femininity as social capital for young women in one of Sweden’s largest Facebook groups, designated for women only. By conceptualizing the online forum as an affinity space (Gee, 2005) and by using theoretical concepts of bridging and bonding capital we analyze entries in the Facebook group that we identify as the Girlfriends. Empirical material is selected from a larger dataset with a focus on entries where young women ask for and provide advice. This study illustrates how femininity is connected with normative notions of respectability and sexuality as female traits and that these are reinforced rather than reduced in interactions between women in the group. Such aspects of femininity can be used as a form of social capital for women online.

Author Biographies

Jennie Sivenbring, Gothenburg University

Ph.D. Child and Youth studies, senior lecturer at the Department of education, communiaction and learning

Frida Siekkinen

Ph.D. student in child and youth studies at the Department of Education, Communication and Learning at the University of Gothenburg. Her research interests are concerned with youth and identity, equity, and societal power relations.  




How to Cite

Sivenbring, J., & Siekkinen, F. (2019). R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Feminine respectability and sexuality for young women online. First Monday, 24(1). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v24i1.9103