Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 1, 1999

James Haines

"Oi! Skins": Trans-Atlantic Gay Skinhead Discourse on the Internet


For about a year and a half now I have been studying non-racist and anti-racist skinheads and their look-alike neo-nazi "bonehead" cousins, using skin websites, e-mail lists and newsgroups as my primary source of data. As I have had no face-to-face contact with my informants, my approach might be called discourse-centered ethnography. At a Cultural Studies conference in June 1998 I reported on an ether community of US and Canadian gay skins that I have been monitoring since November 1997, the Queer Skinhead Brotherhood [QSB]. That report had its origins in a longer ethnography which was based on data gleaned from the QSB website, a QSB e-mail list, the home pages of several QSB list subscribers, and e-mail interviews and personal correspondence with a little over a tenth of the QSB membership. This ethnography is available on the web and has been linked to from the QSB website, which suggests that QSB members find it a fairly accurate report.

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