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Mediating intimacy online: authenticity, magazines and chasing the clicks

Favaro, L. (2017). Mediating intimacy online: authenticity, magazines and chasing the clicks. Journal of Gender Studies, 26(3), pp. 321-334. doi: 10.1080/09589236.2017.1280385


This paper offers a production-based study of online consumer magazines for – and largely by – millennial women, with a particular focus on sex and relationship content. Adopting a feminist discourse analytic approach and a solidary-critical position, I examine 62 interviews conducted with producers, mainly writers and editors, from 12 publications based in the UK and Spain. The analysis maps how notions of intimacy penetrate different dimensions of the magazine, along with networks of influence for the development of content about sex and relationships, marked by a perceived shift from ‘experts’ to ‘real life’. The ways in which producers describe the particularities of woman’s magazine online journalism and dis/articulate a range of critiques are also explored. The paper highlights the increasing importance of ideas about authenticity for these media, making connections to online cultures, a reinvigorated interest in feminism, and contemporary branding strategies. Ultimately, I argue that journalists at women’s magazines simultaneously (re)produce, suffer and contest sexist media, deserving further feminist scholarly attention, and our solidarity as well as critique.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Gender Studies on 10 Feb 2017, available online:
Publisher Keywords: Mediated intimacy, women’s magazines, online journalism, sex and relationship advice
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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