YouTubing Difference: Performing Identity in Video Communities
This study examines women’s performance of gender, ethnicity, and race in a “How-to & DIY” YouTube networks. Through textual and visual analysis, I examine a specific community of ordinary women who participate in the “How-to & DIY” category on YouTube. I look at four women’s YouTube channels, profiles, videos, and comments from their subscribers in order to reveal a deeper sense of what meaning users derive through creating videos on YouTube. I ask the following question: How do women in the YouTube Beauty community perform their identity and difference in their videos? After analyzing the videos and the dialogues, two themes have emerged: a sense of belonging and connectedness, and identity performance at the interface. Underrepresented women go to YouTube to relate to others who are like them, which gives them a sense of belonging and connects them to millions of others who are craving the same connection. Through video blogs, these women perform their gender, race, and identity.
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