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All you need is guitar pedals: The communicative construction of material culture in YouTube product reviews

Gibson, W; (2022) All you need is guitar pedals: The communicative construction of material culture in YouTube product reviews. Discourse, Context & Media , 49 , Article 100626. 10.1016/j.dcm.2022.100626. Green open access

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Abstract

Through an interactionist analysis of guitar pedal review videos this paper explores the communicative practices of product reviewing in YouTube. Focussing on one guitar pedal, the analysis reveals how reviewers positioned the pedal as an ‘idealised object’ and as part of the ‘material good life’ of guitarists. Reviewers’ communicative strategies projected a sense of shared intersubjective experience of the pedal by bracketing out issues of knowledge, skill, and access to technology, and by constructing the vloggers’ credentials as reviewers. This analysis contributes to our understanding of the structures of consumer cultures on YouTube, showing how reviewers communicatively construct audiences, products, themselves, and, more generally, the practices of material culture use in this specific art world. I argue that the interactionist perspective adopted here is an important and under-used framework for analysing consumer culture, and that it helps us to see how material culture is manufactured as a discursive, communicative act through the mundane activities of reviewing.

Type: Article
Title: All you need is guitar pedals: The communicative construction of material culture in YouTube product reviews
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.dcm.2022.100626
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2022.100626
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, Guitar Pedals, Product reviews, Interactionism, Conversation Analysis, Ethnomethodology, Digital Capitalism
UCL classification: UCL
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/10170936
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