This thesis examines Generation Z’s experience and interaction with the central elements and structures that constitute YouTube communities. Furthermore, the thesis investigates the thematic structures that determine this generation’s incitement, use, and behaviour on YouTube.
By discussing four main theories on online communities, the thesis hypothesizes a theoretic framework covering the predominant elements that form YouTube communities. This framework argues that there are six key constituents in making up such a community: space, shared interest, shared practice, shared identity, shared resources, and visual cues. Additionally, the element of parasocial relations is found useful for the model, explaining a community’s members’ heightened sense of belonging.
The thesis bases its analysis on multiple focus group interviews that we have conducted. In the analysis, the hypothetical framework faces an augmentation due to discrepancies with the empirical findings. Upon this realization, the element shared practices is excluded from its presumed central role and is relocated in the model. Moreover, the element shared resources is identified as a practice and is hence removed from the model. The parasocial relations element is found to be pivotal in the members’ sense of belonging to a community and is consequently added to the model. The thesis’ new model thus contains the following elements: space, shared interest, relations, shared identity, shared practices. All of which lead to the members’ sense of belonging to a certain community.
The thesis concludes that Generation Z partially partakes in communities, and that there is a general interaction with the elements that constitute a community. Moreover, discrepancies in the behaviour of Generation Z were found, which is attributed to the correspondents’ age spread.
In spite of this, it appears overarching that this generation creates strong relations to YouTubers and strengthen these through mirroring and identification. Another main finding of this thesis, accordingly, is that those two very phenomena, mirroring and identification, are two main drivers in motivating Generation Z to access and use YouTube on a daily basis.
|Uddannelser||Kommunikation, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||3 sep. 2018|
- Generation Z
- Sociale medier
- online communities