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Sensory communication in YouTube reviews: the interactional construction of products

Gibson, W; (2020) Sensory communication in YouTube reviews: the interactional construction of products. Discourse & Communication (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This study draws on interactionist frameworks of sensorial communication to analyse product reviews on YouTube. Existing studies of YouTube review work have focused on how vloggers manage conflicting neoliberal identity discourses such as ‘authenticity’, ‘being entertaining’, and ‘selling’. I argue that this focus has been at the expense of the communicative work involved in constructing products in reviews and suggest that identity issues should be conceptually expanded through a much broader focus on communicative action and conventions of practice. In order achieve a first step in this expansion, my analysis focusses on reviewers’ sensorial engagement with objects and explores the communicative processes through which they symbolically transform products into enlivened, sensorially rich phenomena. I argue that these communicative strategies are important for situating neoliberal discourses within ‘mundane’ actions of description and in broader cultural practices of reviewing.

Type: Article
Title: Sensory communication in YouTube reviews: the interactional construction of products
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/dcm
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: YouTube, Interactional Sociology, Sociology of the Senses, Product Reviews, Accountability, Sense Work, Computer Mediated Communication, Discourse Analysis, Multimodality, Gestures
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10093342
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