Gender Identity Construction in American and Czech YouTube Vlogs



Rok publikování 2018
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis The PhD thesis is comparative research aimed at investigating the discursive means of gender identity construction in the context of asynchronous computer-mediated interaction and quasi-interaction, namely YouTube video blogs produced by American and Czech YouTube users, as well as exploring universal patterns and specific features in the discursive performance of a range of gender identities in the two linguacultures. The study is conducted in the framework of the social constructivist approach and Judith Butler’s (1999) performativity theory, which presuppose that gender identity is not an inherent feature, but is constructed in discursive practices in the context of social interaction. The strategies of constructing gender identities and their interrelation with the immediate context are explored in terms of positioning developed by Davies and Harré (1990) in the context of social psychology and well established in the research on identity in sociolinguistics. The analyzed corpus is a collection of transcriptions of videos recorded and uploaded by YouTube users featuring (quasi-)interaction with the viewers and other participants of the video. The aims pursued by the users of the abovementioned social media website, namely popularity and channel promotion by means of gaining subscribers, views and “likes”, are expected to have a direct impact on the way gender identities are performed rendering them salient, exaggerated, highly stereotypical and easy to recognize, making YouTube vlogs a unique source of exploring gender identity construction in the context of new social practices. Given the drastic differences between Czech and American political histories and current sociocultural environments, it is expected that, on the one hand, the patterns of gender identity construction as well as the range of gender identities performed should be divergent, whereas on the other, there should be observed a similar tendency preconditioned by global trends dominant in today’s social media (specifically, YouTube) and globalized popular culture in general.
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