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Advancing Identities with YouTube

Laihanen, Alma LU and Rosen, Aaron LU (2017) BUSN39 20171
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
This thesis explores the ways in which the social media channel of YouTube is utilized in advancing consumer identity projects. Specifically, the focus is on understanding how the videos of successful and popular YouTubers help consumers in pursuing their identity projects. This thesis will therefore provide new insights to the existing literature on symbolic consumption and identity projects, by considering how the concepts translate into this relatively new and constantly growing social media platform. Additionally, this thesis contributes to our understanding of digital identities, as research in this field has traditionally investigated the phenomenon from the perspective of identity advancement through the creation of an online image... (More)
This thesis explores the ways in which the social media channel of YouTube is utilized in advancing consumer identity projects. Specifically, the focus is on understanding how the videos of successful and popular YouTubers help consumers in pursuing their identity projects. This thesis will therefore provide new insights to the existing literature on symbolic consumption and identity projects, by considering how the concepts translate into this relatively new and constantly growing social media platform. Additionally, this thesis contributes to our understanding of digital identities, as research in this field has traditionally investigated the phenomenon from the perspective of identity advancement through the creation of an online image and profiles, rather than through consuming online content. Concepts from the field of CCT and identity projects were applied to a preliminary framework, which guided the data collection for the study of this thesis. By adopting a qualitative research approach and conducting semi-structured interviews with six regular
YouTube users, common aspects that characterize identity advancement through YouTube consumption were identified. It was found that YouTube is used to advance identity projects, and this occurs through a process where consumers acknowledge and reflect on their current self, and utilize multiple YouTubers and YouTube channels as inspiration and/or a source of knowledge to help them pursue their desired and ideal identity. This is illustrated in the conceptual framework, constructed based on these findings, by visually presenting this process of identity advancement through YouTube consumption. By increasing our understanding of consumer motives and behavior on this social media channel, this thesis
contributes to the above-mentioned research fields, while also bringing valuable insights to the personal and corporate brands who utilize the platform of YouTube. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Laihanen, Alma LU and Rosen, Aaron LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
An Investigation of the Symbolic Consumption of YouTube in Advancing Consumer Identity Projects
course
BUSN39 20171
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Identity Projects, Identity Advancement, Symbolic Consumption, YouTube
language
English
id
8913189
date added to LUP
2017-08-11 08:13:28
date last changed
2017-08-11 08:13:28
@misc{8913189,
  abstract     = {This thesis explores the ways in which the social media channel of YouTube is utilized in advancing consumer identity projects. Specifically, the focus is on understanding how the videos of successful and popular YouTubers help consumers in pursuing their identity projects. This thesis will therefore provide new insights to the existing literature on symbolic consumption and identity projects, by considering how the concepts translate into this relatively new and constantly growing social media platform. Additionally, this thesis contributes to our understanding of digital identities, as research in this field has traditionally investigated the phenomenon from the perspective of identity advancement through the creation of an online image and profiles, rather than through consuming online content. Concepts from the field of CCT and identity projects were applied to a preliminary framework, which guided the data collection for the study of this thesis. By adopting a qualitative research approach and conducting semi-structured interviews with six regular
YouTube users, common aspects that characterize identity advancement through YouTube consumption were identified. It was found that YouTube is used to advance identity projects, and this occurs through a process where consumers acknowledge and reflect on their current self, and utilize multiple YouTubers and YouTube channels as inspiration and/or a source of knowledge to help them pursue their desired and ideal identity. This is illustrated in the conceptual framework, constructed based on these findings, by visually presenting this process of identity advancement through YouTube consumption. By increasing our understanding of consumer motives and behavior on this social media channel, this thesis
contributes to the above-mentioned research fields, while also bringing valuable insights to the personal and corporate brands who utilize the platform of YouTube.},
  author       = {Laihanen, Alma and Rosen, Aaron},
  keyword      = {Identity Projects,Identity Advancement,Symbolic Consumption,YouTube},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Advancing Identities with YouTube},
  year         = {2017},
}