Cover Image

Larger ImageView Larger

Hanging Out in the Virtual Pub

Masculinities and Relationships Online

Lori Kendall (Author)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 309 pages
ISBN: 9780520230385
June 2002
$31.95, £25.00
Lori Kendall is one of the first to explore the brave new world of social relations as they have evolved on the Internet. In this highly readable ethnography, she examines how men and women negotiate their gender roles on an online forum she calls BlueSky. The result is a first-rate analysis of the emerging social phenomenon of Internet-mediated communication and a ground-breaking study of the social and cultural effects of a medium that allows participants to assume identities of their own choosing. Despite the common assumption that the personas these men and women craft for themselves bear little resemblance to reality, Kendall discovers that the habitués of BlueSky stick surprisingly close to the facts of their actual lives and personalities.
1. Blue Sky in the Morning
2. Logging On: An Introduction to BlueSky
3. Mudding History and Subcultures
4. Hanging Out in the Virtual Locker Room: BlueSky as a Masculine Space
5. Identity Crises
6. Computer-Mediated Relationships
7. Class, Race, and Online Participation
8. Hungover in the Virtual Pub: Power and Identity Online
Epilogue: The "Where Are They Now?" FAQ
Appendix A: Basic Mud Commands
Appendix B: "Mudders in the Mist": Ethnography in a "Partly Compatible" Setting
Appendix C: Unedited BlueSky Log from October 8, 1996
Lori Kendall is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Purchase College--State University of New York.
"Not since Turkle’s Life on the Screen has a book come along that so richly integrates description of an online culture with its habitues’ offline lives and identities."—Susan C. Herring, author of Computer-Mediated Communication

"This stunning ethnographic study of social life in a cyber-village cuts a brilliant swath through the spam of techno-enthusiasm and techno-terror that this subject too often evokes in cultural critics. An intrepid but empathic feminist interloper in the locker-room culture of an online MUD, Kendall explores how men and women continue to perform gender and racial identities and hierarchies behind the cyber-curtain. This imaginative, engaging book sets a new standard for examining the impact of computer culture on our social lives. There is nothing virtual about Kendall’s talent."—Judith Stacey, author of Brave New Families: Stories of Domestic Upheaval in Late Twentieth-Century America

"Kendall’s masterful storytelling and analysis of the BlueSky online forum proves the Internet can provide us with a virtual Third Place, the equivalent of one of Oldenburg’s Great Good Places where community is formed, maintained, and revitalized. Her singular understanding of the space she examines and her knowledge of cyberspace research combine to give us the most thorough account yet of social interaction online."—Steve Jones, author of CyberSociety and Doing Internet Research

"This readable, enjoyable, and lively book provides a fascinating look into a world not known by many."—Peter Nardi, author of Gay Men's Friendships: Invincible Communities

"Hanging Out at the Virtual Pub provides a richly detailed and theoretically mediated understanding of gender’s significance in online-game playing. This examination of the behavior of educated techno-elites helps us understand communities and larger social trends. Kendall’s vision is neither utopian nor dystopian. People should buy this timely book."—Anita L. Allen, coeditor of Debating Democracy's Discontent: Essays on American Politics, Law, and Public Philosophy

Join UC Press

Members receive 20-40% discounts on book purchases. Find out more