A genealogy of badges: Inherited meaning and monstrous moral hybrids

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The use of badges on the web, particularly on community sites, has become very popular, and these badges are becoming both more easily carried from one site to another and more valuable in the process. But badges are not new; the metaphor of the online badge draws on centuries of use in the offline world. And the use of badges online has the potential of bringing with it the echo of these earlier uses and the values that they were imbued with. This article explores online badges, drawing on their history and the ethical framework presented by Jane Jacobs in 'Systems of Survival' to suggest some ways of ensuring that badges are used effectively online.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-373
Number of pages20
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Web 2.0
  • computer-mediated-communication
  • gaming
  • social media
  • social networking
  • sociology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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