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Broadcasting the Stigmatized Self: Positioning Functions of YouTube Vlogs on Bipolar Disorder1

Broadcasting the Stigmatized Self: Positioning Functions of YouTube Vlogs on Bipolar Disorder1

Chapter:
(p.175) Chapter Eight Broadcasting the Stigmatized Self: Positioning Functions of YouTube Vlogs on Bipolar Disorder1
Source:
Diagnosing Folklore
Author(s):
Darcy Holtgrave
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496804259.003.0009

YouTube, the free Internet video-sharing platform, is home to an active community of people who performatively share personal experience narratives about mental illness. Many individuals in this group heed YouTube’s early call to “Broadcast Yourself” in order to publicly “put a face” to mental illness, particularly in the form of vlogs that document and share their experience. In chapter 8, “Broadcasting the Stigmatized Self: Positioning Functions of YouTube Vlogs on Bipolar Disorder,” Darcy Holtgrave engages this phenomenon through a selection of vloggers who discuss bipolar disorder and the folk groups surrounding them. The parameters of YouTube inherently define and influence users’ exchanges, which are mediated by digital devices and take the form of videos, video responses, text responses, the prefabricated categories of likes and views, and/or interaction with other forms of social media. Using narrative theory, Holtgrave analyzes the strategies that speakers use to negotiate their place in relation to their audience as well as their mental illness.

Keywords:   Bipolar Disorder, Vlogs, YouTube, Mental Illness, Mental Health

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