Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Publication Title

Research in Consumer Behavior: Consumer Culture Theory

Volume

18

Pages

47-64

Publisher Name

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Publisher Location

Bingley, UK

Abstract

Purpose

Video gaming, which remains culturally embedded in masculine ideals, is increasingly becoming a leisure activity for female consumers. Guided by social dominance theory, this paper examines how female gamers navigate the masculine-oriented gaming consumption context.

Methodology/approach

Eight avid female gamers (ages 20–29) participated in-depth interviews, following a phenomenological approach to better understand their lived experiences with video gaming. Data were analyzed using phenomenological procedures.

Findings

Findings reveal an undercurrent of gender-based consumer vulnerability, driven by stereotypical perceptions of “gamer girls” in the masculine-oriented gaming subculture. Further, the findings highlight the multilayered, multidimensional nature of gaming as a vulnerable consumption environment, at individual, marketplace, and cultural levels.

Social implications

The culturally embedded gamer girl stereotype provides a foundation upon which characteristics of consumer vulnerability flourish, including a culture of gender-based consumer harassment, systematic disempowerment in the marketplace, and conflicting actions and attitudes toward future cultural change.

Originality/value

This research suggests female gamers struggle to gain a foothold in gaming due to the socially and culturally constructed masculine dominance of the field. Our research study provides a stepping-stone for future scholars to explore gendered subcultures and begins to address the dynamic interplay of power, gender, technology, and the market.

Identifier

978-1-78635-496-9

Comments

Author Posting. © Emerald Publishing Group 2016. This article is posted here by permission of Emerald for personal use, not for redistribution. This article was published in the Research in Consumer Behavior: Consumer Culture Theory book series, 2016, https://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/S0885-211120160000018004

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Share

COinS