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Abstracts, NORMA 6.1

Audiophiles: Gender reproduction in a technological nerd culture

Bo Nilsson

The point of departure for this article is a collective dominated by men; people interested in listening to music and sound through high fidelity (hi-fi) stereo equipment (audiophiles). The hi-fi culture actually attracts many different categories of people, such as music lovers, record buyers and collectors, hi-fi show visitors, designers, and journalists, but numerically most of them are men. According to some descriptions the hi-fi collective is also dominated by ‘nerds’ or ‘geeks’, categories associated with a marginal masculinity. This article examines, with the help of ethnographical methods and media material, how an audiophile discourse articulated in the hi-fi culture reproduces gender, especially the relation between men, masculinity and technology. The theoretical point of departure is discourse theory and a perspective of logics, which can promote an understanding of the principles for gender reproduction. However, the hi-fi culture is also an illustration of counter-logics, showing how gender (re)production is an unstable process located in the space between the subjective and the discursive level.

audiophile discourse, logics, gender, masculinity, technology

NORMA: Nordic Journal for Masculinity Studies 6(1), 61-81.



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