Introduction

This study seeks to compare two modes of categorising people: the machinic, in the form of Amazon's recommendation system, and the subjective in the form of social stereotypes in the fields of race, class and gender. The hypothesis under consideration asserts that there is a significant correlation between the subjective social categories that serve both to describe and to reproduce and perpetuate the structures of our societies and the categories constructed by collaborative filtering algorithms as they group online shoppers based on similar behaviour in an attempt to provide product recommendations that are of greater interest.

Methodologically, this study follows some of the patterns of Richard Rogers' Digital Methods. While regrettably, it was impossible not to import traditional sociological methods into the digital when considering human subjectivity and stereotypes, this study does endeavour to devise investigative methods that make use of computational logics afforded by natively digital objects. It combines a traditional survey – albeit with the digital twist of being carried out over Amazon Mechanical Turk – with browser automation and web scraping.

Research Method

This study comprises two investigations in two different domains. The first is an investigation into the categorisation of users implicit in the functioning of collaborative filtering algorithms likely employed in Amazon's recommendation system. The second takes the form of a survey of the subjective categorisation of people in the context of Amazon's categories of consumer goods. While the object of the second of these investigations is more closely allied to Digital Methods as it qualifies as natively digital, the second, though digitally mediated by means of Amazon Mechanical Turk (henceforth: AMT) surveys, is situated within the semiotics of human subjectivity and stereotypes.

The survey is composed of two AMT human intelligence tasks that asks respondents to match categories of consumer goods with social categories such as "male", "middle-class" or "black". The product categories are culled directly from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk, although ultimately it is the former that is investigated in this study because AMT workers are predominantly American and Indian. (Ipeirotis) Both surveys have only 25 respondents and consequently cannot serve as more than a very crude approximation of American subjectivities.

The second part of the study involves web browser automation and scraping recommendations from amazon.com. This is largely done using the specially developed python package snu-snu and web application RARS.online. Unfortunately, the analytic capabilities of the software haven't been developed to a significant degree, with the consequence that the majority of analysis had to be carried out manually. It is clear that this placed considerable limitations on this study and as such the results are presented as preliminary.

The following sections elaborate on the decisions undertaken in arriving at which social categories and categories of consumer goods to investigate.

Product Category Selection

Although the Websites they sell many of the same products, the categories on amazon.com and amazon.co.uk differ. At the very least, these differences give insights into the way in which Amazon's staff conceive of the dominant ideologies of the populations that the websites principally serve. For example, while amazon.co.uk includes a category in film and TV for "Gay, Lesbian & Transgender", amazon.com merely includes one for "Gay & Lesbian". Amazon.com also lacks an explicit category for adult films.

Many of the categories on amazon.com pertain to electronic equipment, sporting goods an mundane items for the kitchen or office. While no doubt many of the items in these categories have subtle associations with social categories and a few less so, there are categories of consumer goods that offer a greater array of social signification. Among these are clothing, music, books and films. It is worth noting that Items of clothing are somewhat problematic as gender and sex are hard-coded into the way they are categorised on amazon.com.

Chosen Category Set

Because of their rich interplay with social stereotypes and lack of contingency on biological sex, this study makes use of cultural genres as product categories. The two sets of categories selected are books and films. While music may have sufficed as well, and may be used in a future study, two root categories are judged sufficient at this point.

Social Category Selection

Part of this study requires survey respondents on Amazon Mechanical Turk to match categories of books and films derived from Amazon.com to broad social categories under the headings of race, gender and class. Below are summaries of the reasoning behind the treatment of each set of categories.

Social Class

There are many models of social class in the UK to choose from. The seven categories employed by the Great British class survey of 2013 – devised using measures of social, cultural and economic capital (Savage et al. ) – serve as a comprehensive approximation of how contemporary British society is stratified. The National Statistics Socio-economic Classification and even the NRS social grade of the 1970s provide reasonable granularity along occupational lines. However, such models are poorly suited to this study for two reasons: first, an estimated 80% of Amazon Mechanical Turk users are American and Indian (Ipeirotis), models constructed with reference to British society may not apply, and second, however accurate the models, their category names are unlikely to be common knowledge outside of marketing and the social sciences.

This study settles on the tetrad of working class, upper class, lower class and middle class. While this is an approximation based on general ideas gleaned from an English milieu, deploying complex taxonomies of American class such as the model developed by Gilbert Dennis in The American Class Structure would lead to some of the same problems in communication with respondents as those from England. The result is a somewhat vague compromise that will not sit entirely uncomfortably in an Anglo-American context.

Gender

The survey is concerned with social stereotypes, and thus distinguishes the social categories of gender from the biological categories of sex. As outlined below, this distinction is far from unproblematic.

This study resists the temptation of following Crany-Fancis, and conceiving of gender as 'the culturally variable elaboration of sex[.]' (4) The pitfall of positing biological sex as the stable foundation upon which various genders are constructed is avoided. Instead of figuring sex as extra-discursive: both in that is is cordoned off from the humanities and social sciences and that it can be viewed independent of human purposes (Harrison and Hood-Williams, this study acknowledges the discursive forces at play in the construction of sex, reified by medicine in the surgical assignment of binary sex to the estimated 1% of newborns' bodies that differ from standard male or female physiology. (Blackless et al. Qtd. in Eckert and McConnell-Ginet 11) However, as it is concerned with social steriotypes, it seeks to avoid such grey areas.

Instead, this study draws on the ideas of R W Connel, who posits masculinities, as groupings of interrelated social practices, forming hierarchies and intersecting with other clusterings of social categories. While masculinities and femininities more accurately reflect the plurality of social practices subsumed under gender, to aid clarity, the terms masculinity and femininity are used.

Race

As this survey pertains to amazon.com, the racial categories are those of greatest relevance to the USA. These are based on the most populous groups according to the official American census, including – following Humes et al. – the ethnic category Hispanic.

Intersectionality

As social categories intersect, complexities emerge, as in the case of the particular relationship working-class women have to care in both domestic and occupational settings. (Armstrong) As survey respondents can select multiple identity categories, they may perceive themselves as specifying intersectional identities: white working class masculinities may be mapped to "humour & entertainment" books, for example. In the case of sexualities, a decision as to the use of "gay" and "lesbian" or simply "homosexual" would need to be made. The latter encourages a reading of homosexual femininities or masculinities in to a user's selection of "homosexual" in combination with a gender category. Exhaustive permutations of combined social categories such as masculine-heterosexual-white-middle-class risk overcomplicating the survey and verge on the absurd.

A consequence of ignoring intersectionality is that the sets of genres derived from each category are monolithic and therefore limited in their applications. Combining the monolithic categories in order to derive some sort of approximation of intersectional identities amounts to little more than an exercise in curiosity. On balance and in the interests of simplicity, neither of the surveys make reference to explicitly intersectional identities.

Technical Considerations

In order to deploy its research, this study requires a piece of browser-automation based code that is capable of searching within the hundreds of product-sub-categories on Amazon. Due to inconsistencies in the structure of the pages for the main categories, it isn't practical to develop something that can scrape these categories and make them available for selection. The first attempt at a solution involved manually storing the URLs of sub-categories and navigating to them. This failed as amazon.com automatically logged users out when the browser attempted to access these pages directly. Perhaps they detected a behaviour associated with web scraping.

After this setback, the only option was to search within the root categories of Book and Film & TV, entering the name of each sub-category as a search term. There is little doubt that this harmed the precision of the study and may have skewed the results.

Preliminary Findings

This section outlines and conducts an analysis of both the results of the two traditional surveys and those based on the scraping and analysis of Amazon recommendations. As indicated by the title, not even tentative conclusions are drawn from these findings as the samples sizes and breadth and depth of analysis were greatly restricted by a lack of resources both pecuniary and temporal.

Book and Film Genre Surveys

Respondents were given book and film genres and asked to match them to social categories, the members of which were likely to buy, read or watch items within those genres.

Class

The results pertaining to social class were mostly explicable in terms of cultural capital and education. Those genres that indicate higher levels of cultural capital and leisure time such as Travel and Arts & Photography in books and Performing Arts and Documentary in film and television are most commonly selected by respondents for a stereotypical member of the upper class. Those indicative of technical skills and some cultural capital, such as Literature & Fiction and Computers & Technology, along with genre fiction among books and the more popular genres of Horror and Comedy from film and TV are associated with the middle-class. Those genres selected for the lower and working classes are exclusively related to popular entertainment, religion and quotidian life.

Race

Interpretation is limited here due to a lack of detailed understanding of race in America. Viewed through the same lens as were the categories of class: the white and asian categories have a higher proportion of genres associated with affluence, education and high culture, than those of black and Hispanic.

Gender

Many of the genres here starkly echo the dichotomies of poplar essentialist thought, we find such oppositions as women are weak, men strong – women irrational, men rational; women cooperative – men competitive – woman passive, men active – women timid, men aggressive – women emotional, men impassive. (Eckert and McConnell-Ginet 35) By way of books, femininity is assigned Romance, Craft, Hobbies and Home and Children and Family; films and TV yield a similar selection comprising Drama, Soap Opera and Performing Arts. The stereotypes that inform sex role theory, which assigns a broadly expressive role to females and an instrumental role to men (Connel 22) are somewhat evident in the assignment of Engineering and Transport, Science and Maths and Business and Finance books to masculinities, as well as action films and sports shows.

Digital Investigation of Amazon

Results

Due to time constraints, and due to this study already having given a greater degree of consideration to gender, only the masculine and feminine categories have been analysed.

Although only 200 items were added to the shopping list wish-list of each amazon.com account used, the number of recommendations given by Amazon exceeds this number. As all recommendations were for books, and 100 TV and film items were added to the shopping list before any books were added, it seems certain that there are at least twice as many recommendations as list-adds. However, as many videos were streaming items and instead added to watch-lists, the extent of the recommendations is not entirely clear.

Of those recommendations that were scraped, a significant proportion of them fall into the categories that were explicitly searched for, viewed and added to lists (see appendices 3.1.1 and 3.2.1). The is markedly the case for the feminine category where 90% of recommendations fall under either the chosen or reserved genres. What could hesitantly be described as gender disparity seems evident here as only 56.3% of recommendations for the masculine category fall under the used or reserved genres.

The Status of the Hypothesis

Although the number of recommendations scraped is too low to base any firm conclusion on, these preliminary results do not support the hypothesis. For the masculine category, only 5.6% of recommendations fell under the reserved genres. Despite most of the genres of the recommended products for the feminine category falling under the selected genres, only 0.5% fall under the reserved. These results appear to refute the hypothesis as stated.

All that is refuted is that the particular set of stereotypes gleaned from a small number of surveys match a subset of the recommendations generated by amazon.com. Nevertheless, the hypothesis is certainly no stronger than it was when untested.

Conclusion

The postulate that there is some correlation between social stereotypes and the profiles used by amazon.com to generate recommendations – if such categories are indeed used – is in no way supported by the approximations of stereotypes constructed in this study or the recommendations analysed. Though there are a peppering of suggestive anomalies, it seems likely that subjective social categories, at least those on the molar scale of class, gender and race, do not significantly structure amazon.com's recommendation system. Product-to-product similarities seem to play just as significant a role, if not more so.

Due to the small sample sizes, these results do not put an end to the question of how recommendation systems categorise people. It may be worthwhile to carry out further analysis on a greater number of recommendations or to develop a hypothesis that is aimed a social categories rather more molecular than the molar categories addressed in this study. Such a set of categories could be provided by the Great British Class Survey.

References

Armstrong, Jo. "Class and Gender at the Intersection: Working-Class Women's Dispositions Towards Employment and Motherhood." Classed Intersections: Spaces, Selves, Knowledges. Ashgate Publishing Ltd. 2010.
Connell, R.W. Masculinities, Polity Press.  2005.
Crany-Fancis A. et al. Gender Studies: Terms and Debates, Palgrave Macmillan, New York. 2003.
Eckert, Penelope. McConnell-Ginet, Sally. Language and Gender. Cambridge University Press. 2003.
Humes, K. Jones, N. Ramirez, R. "Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin: 2010."  2010 Census Briefs. United States Census Bureau, 2010.
Ipeirotis, P. "Demographics of Mechanical Turk". New York University NYU Working Paper No. CEDER-10-01
Preece, Siân. The Routledge Handbook Of Language And Identity. London, Routledge, 2016.
Savage, Mike et al. "A New Model Of Social Class? Findings From The BBC’S Great British Class  Survey Experiment". Sociology, vol 47, no. 2, 2013, pp. 219-250. SAGE Publications, doi:10.1177/0038038513481128.

Appendix 1: book genre survey

Lower Class   Middle Class
Product Category Count   Product Category Count
Christian Books and Bibles 20   Education and Teaching 23
Calendars 17   Science Fiction and Fantasy 22
Humor and Entertainment 17   Children's Books 21
Religion and Spirituality 17   Computers and Technology 21
Children's Books 16   Health Fitness and Dieting 21
Romance 15   Parenting and Relationships 21
Sports and Outdoors 15   Sports and Outdoors 21
Science Fiction and Fantasy 14   Teen and Young Adult 21
Teen and Young Adult 14   Literature and Fiction 20
Comics and Graphic Novels 12   Mystery Thriller and Suspense 20
Mystery Thriller and Suspense 12   Cookbooks Food and Wine 19
Literature and Fiction 10   Crafts Hobbies and Home 19
Gay and Lesbian 9   Reference 19
Self-Help 9   Religion and Spirituality 19
Test Preparation 9   Self-Help 19
Parenting and Relationships 8   Christian Books and Bibles 18
Education and Teaching 7   Humor and Entertainment 18
Reference 7   Test Preparation 18
Computers and Technology 6   Comics and Graphic Novels 17
History 6   Engineering and Transportation 17
Science and Math 5   Gay and Lesbian 17
Crafts Hobbies and Home 4   History 17
Engineering and Transportation 4   Politics and Social Sciences 17
Health Fitness and Dieting 4   Science and Math 17
Travel 4   Travel 17
Law 3   Calendars 16
Cookbooks Food and Wine 2   Romance 16
Politics and Social Sciences 2   Arts and Photography 15
Arts and Photography 1   Business and Money 15
Biographies and Memoirs 1   Biographies and Memoirs 14
Business and Money 1   Law 14
Medical Books 1   Medical Books 12

 

Working Class   Upper Class
Product Category Count   Product Category Count
Christian Books and Bibles 19   Arts and Photography 22
Humor and Entertainment 17   Law 22
Sports and Outdoors 17   Biographies and Memoirs 21
Children's Books 16   Business and Money 21
Religion and Spirituality 16   History 21
Teen and Young Adult 16   Politics and Social Sciences 21
Calendars 15   Travel 21
Mystery Thriller and Suspense 14   Health Fitness and Dieting 19
Romance 14   Literature and Fiction 19
Science Fiction and Fantasy 14   Medical Books 19
Literature and Fiction 13   Science and Math 18
Self-Help 13   Cookbooks Food and Wine 17
Comics and Graphic Novels 11   Science Fiction and Fantasy 16
Gay and Lesbian 11   Computers and Technology 15
Reference 11   Parenting and Relationships 15
Test Preparation 10   Crafts Hobbies and Home 14
Health Fitness and Dieting 9   Engineering and Transportation 14
Parenting and Relationships 9   Gay and Lesbian 13
Cookbooks Food and Wine 7   Humor and Entertainment 13
Business and Money 6   Reference 13
Computers and Technology 6   Romance 13
Crafts Hobbies and Home 6   Test Preparation 13
Education and Teaching 6   Mystery Thriller and Suspense 12
History 6   Children's Books 11
Politics and Social Sciences 5   Religion and Spirituality 10
Engineering and Transportation 4   Education and Teaching 9
Science and Math 4   Self-Help 9
Travel 4   Sports and Outdoors 9
Arts and Photography 3   Calendars 8
Biographies and Memoirs 3   Christian Books and Bibles 7
Law 2   Comics and Graphic Novels 7
Medical Books 2   Teen and Young Adult 6

 

White   Asian
Product Category Count   Product Category Count
Arts and Photography 22   Test Preparation 22
Business and Money 22   Medical Books 19
Cookbooks Food and Wine 21   Science and Math 19
Science Fiction and Fantasy 21   Science Fiction and Fantasy 18
Test Preparation 21   Comics and Graphic Novels 17
Biographies and Memoirs 20   Engineering and Transportation 17
Children's Books 20   Mystery Thriller and Suspense 17
Christian Books and Bibles 20   Computers and Technology 16
Comics and Graphic Novels 20   Religion and Spirituality 16
Computers and Technology 20   Arts and Photography 15
History 20   Children's Books 15
Humor and Entertainment 20   Business and Money 14
Reference 20   Education and Teaching 14
Medical Books 19   Literature and Fiction 14
Mystery Thriller and Suspense 19   Law 13
Parenting and Relationships 19   Humor and Entertainment 12
Crafts Hobbies and Home 18   Parenting and Relationships 12
Gay and Lesbian 18   Politics and Social Sciences 12
Literature and Fiction 18   Reference 12
Politics and Social Sciences 18   Calendars 11
Religion and Spirituality 18   Cookbooks Food and Wine 11
Engineering and Transportation 17   History 11
Health Fitness and Dieting 17   Travel 11
Law 17   Biographies and Memoirs 10
Romance 17   Gay and Lesbian 10
Self-Help 17   Health Fitness and Dieting 9
Sports and Outdoors 17   Romance 9
Science and Math 16   Teen and Young Adult 9
Teen and Young Adult 16   Christian Books and Bibles 8
Travel 15   Self-Help 8
Calendars 14   Sports and Outdoors 7
Education and Teaching 14   Crafts Hobbies and Home 5

 

Hispanic   Black
Product Category Count   Product Category Count
Christian Books and Bibles 20   Christian Books and Bibles 21
Children's Books 19   Religion and Spirituality 19
Religion and Spirituality 18   Humor and Entertainment 18
Humor and Entertainment 17   Children's Books 15
Science Fiction and Fantasy 14   Sports and Outdoors 15
Teen and Young Adult 14   Mystery Thriller and Suspense 14
Calendars 13   Teen and Young Adult 14
Romance 13   Comics and Graphic Novels 13
Test Preparation 13   Gay and Lesbian 13
Education and Teaching 12   Literature and Fiction 13
Literature and Fiction 12   Romance 13
Reference 12   Test Preparation 13
History 11   Biographies and Memoirs 12
Mystery Thriller and Suspense 11   Calendars 12
Self-Help 11   History 12
Sports and Outdoors 11   Science Fiction and Fantasy 12
Business and Money 10   Reference 11
Gay and Lesbian 10   Health Fitness and Dieting 10
Science and Math 10   Medical Books 10
Comics and Graphic Novels 9   Self-Help 10
Cookbooks Food and Wine 9   Parenting and Relationships 9
Health Fitness and Dieting 9   Politics and Social Sciences 9
Medical Books 9   Business and Money 8
Crafts Hobbies and Home 8   Cookbooks Food and Wine 8
Parenting and Relationships 8   Education and Teaching 8
Politics and Social Sciences 8   Law 8
Computers and Technology 7   Science and Math 8
Engineering and Transportation 6   Arts and Photography 7
Law 6   Travel 7
Arts and Photography 5   Computers and Technology 6
Biographies and Memoirs 5   Crafts Hobbies and Home 6
Travel 5   Engineering and Transportation 6

 

Masculine   Feminine
Product Category Count   Product Category Count
Business and Money 18   Romance 21
Engineering and Transportation 18   Arts and Photography 19
Humor and Entertainment 18   Cookbooks Food and Wine 19
History 17   Parenting and Relationships 19
Mystery Thriller and Suspense 17   Children's Books 18
Science and Math 17   Crafts Hobbies and Home 18
Comics and Graphic Novels 16   Education and Teaching 18
Computers and Technology 16   Gay and Lesbian 18
Health Fitness and Dieting 16   Health Fitness and Dieting 17
Science Fiction and Fantasy 16   Literature and Fiction 17
Sports and Outdoors 15   Religion and Spirituality 17
Law 13   Calendars 16
Reference 13   Mystery Thriller and Suspense 16
Religion and Spirituality 13   Teen and Young Adult 16
Biographies and Memoirs 12   Self-Help 15
Politics and Social Sciences 12   Travel 15
Gay and Lesbian 11   Biographies and Memoirs 14
Literature and Fiction 11   Humor and Entertainment 13
Travel 11   Medical Books 13
Arts and Photography 10   Reference 13
Children's Books 10   Christian Books and Bibles 11
Medical Books 10   Science Fiction and Fantasy 10
Self-Help 10   Law 9
Test Preparation 10   Test Preparation 9
Calendars 9   Comics and Graphic Novels 8
Christian Books and Bibles 9   History 8
Crafts Hobbies and Home 9   Science and Math 8
Teen and Young Adult 8   Business and Money 7
Education and Teaching 6   Politics and Social Sciences 7
Parenting and Relationships 6   Engineering and Transportation 5
Cookbooks Food and Wine 5   Sports and Outdoors 5
Romance 4   Computers and Technology 4

 

Appendix 2: film genre survey

Lower Class   Middle Class
film genre count   film genre count
Reality TV 20   Crime 22
Comedy 18   Thriller 22
Sport 18   Fantasy 20
Adult 17   Action and Adventure 19
Children and Family 17   Horror 19
Music Video and Concert 17   Science Fiction 19
Crime 16   Children and Family 18
Horror 15   Comedy 18
Soap Opera 15   Military and War 18
Thriller 15   Music Video and Concert 18
Action and Adventure 14   Sport 18
Animation 14   Western 18
Drama 14   Anime 17
Romance 13   Drama 17
Science Fiction 12   Musical 17
Anime 11   Documentary 16
Fantasy 11   Exercise and Fitness 16
Military and War 11   Gay Lesbian and Transgender 16
Western 10   Romance 16
Gay Lesbian and Transgender 9   Soap Opera 16
Historical 9   Adult 15
Bollywood 8   Historical 15
Special Interest 7   World Cinema 15
Performing Arts 6   Reality TV 14
Musical 4   Special Interest 14
World Cinema 4   Animation 13
Documentary 3   Bollywood 12
Exercise and Fitness 3   Performing Arts 9

 

working class   Upper Class
film genre count   film genre count
Action and Adventure 20   Musical 19
Sport 20   Drama 18
Comedy 19   Exercise and Fitness 18
Reality TV 19   Historical 18
Horror 18   Adult 17
Animation 17   Documentary 17
Music Video and Concert 17   Children and Family 16
Thriller 17   Performing Arts 16
Children and Family 16   Romance 15
Romance 16   Science Fiction 15
Science Fiction 16   Thriller 15
Soap Opera 16   World Cinema 15
Crime 15   Comedy 14
Drama 15   Crime 14
Adult 14   Horror 14
Military and War 14   Military and War 14
Bollywood 13   Special Interest 14
Western 13   Sport 14
Fantasy 11   Fantasy 13
Special Interest 11   Gay Lesbian and Transgender 13
Gay Lesbian and Transgender 10   Animation 12
Anime 9   Action and Adventure 11
Documentary 9   Bollywood 10
World Cinema 9   Music Video and Concert 10
Historical 8   Western 9
Musical 8   Anime 8
Exercise and Fitness 7   Reality TV 7
Performing Arts 5   Soap Opera 7

 

White   Asian
film genre count   film genre count
Action and Adventure 22   Anime 19
Drama 22   Action and Adventure 16
Western 21   Animation 16
Exercise and Fitness 20   Fantasy 16
Music Video and Concert 20   Comedy 15
Historical 19   Science Fiction 15
Military and War 19   World Cinema 15
Performing Arts 19   Romance 14
Sport 19   Thriller 14
Adult 18   Adult 13
Children and Family 18   Bollywood 13
Comedy 18   Documentary 13
Crime 18   Drama 13
Musical 18   Children and Family 12
Romance 18   Music Video and Concert 12
Special Interest 18   Historical 11
Animation 17   Horror 11
Fantasy 17   Military and War 10
Reality TV 17   Reality TV 10
Thriller 17   Special Interest 10
Documentary 16   Crime 9
Gay Lesbian and Transgender 16   Sport 9
Science Fiction 16   Musical 8
Anime 15   Performing Arts 8
Horror 15   Exercise and Fitness 7
Soap Opera 15   Soap Opera 7
World Cinema 15   Gay Lesbian and Transgender 6
Bollywood 8   Western 5

 

Hispanic   Black
film genre count   film genre count
Adult 14   Comedy 19
Children and Family 14   Music Video and Concert 18
Comedy 14   Action and Adventure 17
Music Video and Concert 14   Children and Family 14
Soap Opera 14   Reality TV 14
Action and Adventure 13   Sport 14
Drama 13   Thriller 14
Thriller 13   Adult 13
Crime 12   Horror 12
Horror 12   Crime 11
Sport 12   Drama 11
World Cinema 11   Exercise and Fitness 11
Reality TV 10   Science Fiction 11
Science Fiction 10   Fantasy 10
Historical 9   Animation 9
Romance 9   Military and War 9
Special Interest 9   Special Interest 9
Animation 8   Gay Lesbian and Transgender 8
Fantasy 8   Romance 8
Military and War 8   World Cinema 8
Bollywood 7   Documentary 7
Documentary 7   Historical 6
Gay Lesbian and Transgender 7   Performing Arts 6
Musical 7   Soap Opera 6
Exercise and Fitness 6   Musical 5
Performing Arts 6   Western 5
Anime 5   Anime 4
Western 4   Bollywood 3

 

Masculine   Feminine
film genre count   film genre count
Adult 21   Drama 22
Horror 19   Romance 20
Sport 19   Children and Family 19
Action and Adventure 18   Comedy 19
Science Fiction 18   Gay Lesbian and Transgender 19
Comedy 17   Soap Opera 19
Crime 17   Music Video and Concert 18
Thriller 17   Musical 17
Western 17   Performing Arts 17
Military and War 16   Reality TV 17
Documentary 15   Exercise and Fitness 15
Music Video and Concert 15   Adult 13
Drama 14   Fantasy 13
Fantasy 13   Special Interest 13
Historical 13   Animation 12
Special Interest 13   Documentary 12
World Cinema 12   Historical 12
Children and Family 11   World Cinema 12
Exercise and Fitness 10   Crime 11
Reality TV 10   Thriller 11
Anime 9   Anime 10
Gay Lesbian and Transgender 8   Bollywood 10
Animation 7   Horror 9
Musical 7   Science Fiction 7
Performing Arts 7   Western 6
Bollywood 5   Action and Adventure 5
Romance 5   Sport 5
Soap Opera 4   Military and War 3

 

Appendix 3: results of digital investigation

3.1.1 Highest ranking genres used for research and reserved for feminine category

Books Films & TV
Used Reserved Used Reserved
Parenting & Relationships Romance Reality TV Drama
Cookbooks, Food & Wine Arts & Photography Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Children and Family
Literature & Fiction Children's Books Performing Arts Soap Opera
Education & Teaching Crafts, Hobbies and Home Comedy Music Video & Concert
Health, Fitness and Dieting Gay and Lesbian Romance Musical

 

3.1.2 Genres of recommendations for feminine category

Genres Count
Education & Teaching 100
Cookbooks, Food & Wine 35
Literature & Fiction 28
Health, Fitness & Dieting 16
Reference 6
Politics & Social Sciences 3
Religion & Spirituality 3
Medical Books 2
Self-Help 2
Arts & Photography 1
Business & Money 1
Christian Books & Bibles 1
Engineering & Transportation 1
History 1
   
TOTAL 200

3.2.1 Highest ranking genres used for research and reserved for masculine category

Books Films & TV
Used Reserved Used Reserved
Business & Money Humour & Entertainment Horror Adult
Science & Math Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Crime Action & Adventure
History Computers & Technology Science Fiction Thriller
Engineering & Transportation Health, Fitness & Dieting Sport Western
Comics & Graphic Novels Science Fiction & Fantasy Comedy Military & War

3.2.2 Genres of recommendation for masculine category

Genre Count
Engineering & Transportation 60
Comics & Graphic Novels 35
Children's Books 26
History 14
Literature & Fiction 13
Test Preparation 12
Teen & Young Adult 9
Science Fiction & Fantasy 11
Science & Math 5
Education & Teaching 3
Politics & Social Sciences 3
Arts & Photography 2
Biographies & Memoirs 1
Calendars 1
Medical Books 1
Religion & Spirituality 1
   
TOTAL 197