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Confession narratives and mass kinship of YouTube celebrities: A narrative rationality analysis

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Walter R. Fisher argued that human beings are homo narrans or storytelling animals who make decisions using narrative rationality, which is the ability to choose among competing stories. The question I consider is whether Fisher’s arguments have explanatory power in quick media, especially a specific type of everyday autobiography: narratives of well-known YouTube vloggers confessing intimate details or turning-point moments about their lives. Examples of videos include coming out as LGBTQ, serious illness, relationship dissolution and depression. This textual analysis looks at both sides of YouTube discourse – creator vlogs and audience comments.

Keywords: YouTube; confessionals; life story; narrative paradigm; performance; vlogging

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Colorado State University

Publication date: July 1, 2018

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UA-1313315-26