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Dr Laura Harvey nominated for SAGE Prize

'Swagger, Ratings and Masculinity' paper challenges the media portrayal of looters during the 2011 London Riots.

How do social media and consumer goods combine to produce 'swagger' and 'ratings'?

Photo: Thinkstock

Dr Laura Harvey from  the Department of Sociology has been nominated for the SAGE Prize for Innovation and Excellence for her co-authored paper 'Swagger, Ratings and Masculinity', which was published in the journal Sociological Research Online.

The paper looked at young people's use of mobile digital technology to understand the concepts behind youth terms such as 'swagger' and 'ratings'. Laura and her colleagues analysed how images of designer goods and labels are used on social networks to embody masculinity and coolness, but identified that circulation of these online images must be backed by real life possessions in order for social and cultural capital to transfer into boys' offline lives.

This research challenges the simplistic media portrayal of looters during the London Riots of 2011, during which pejorative terms such as 'feral' and 'mindless' were extensively used.

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