Online communication is often presented in research as offering ways for young
people to explore various forms of masculinity and femininity, which, in turn,
could extend the notions of gendered identity. This paper explores how a Harry
Potter fan fiction website can function as an online setting for gender identity
construction among young fans. A positioning analysis of a small story told in
an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) shows that although traditional gendered subject
positions are explored and troubled in the story and its telling, heteronormativity
prevails through the interpretative repertoires made available by the textual
universe of Harry Potter. On the other hand, the positioning analysis of the small
story activates an understanding of the interplay between the relational order
among story characters and among the storytellers that can be seen as opening
up a space between what is the told and the telling that allows the fans to experiment
with aspects of gender identities that are related to power and control
within an interpretative repertoire of heteronormativity.
2015. Vol. 9, no 2, 167-188 p.