Gender differences in Italian immigrants’ online interactions

This paper analyses the impact of gender differences on online interaction dynamics. I will expose the related findings from a qualitative study about the social and cultural role of Italianialondra.com, an online community created 2003 to encourage communication among first generation Italian immigrants in London. From the analysis of the respondents’ in-depth interviews – nine women and eleven men – variations in attitudes towards technologies, and online communication patterns based on gender, emerged. Findings cover the following: ‘gender and access’, ‘gender and general attitudes’, ‘gender and mutual support’, and ‘the reconstruction of gender stereotypes’. These topics are all interrelated. I conclude that implementing the Website in a women-friendly style could widen the boundaries of electronic space and bring about changes in existing hierarchies of power and privilege.