Difference between revisions of "Work as Play Makes Jack a Great YouTuber: Child Labor and Exploitation in the Digital Economy in the Guise of Manufactured Play"

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The growing trend of Child YouTubers raking in millions of YouTube views and subscribers cannot be ignored. This study seeks to explore the phenomenon by scrutinizing the conditions of fun and play that Child YouTubers feign in order to reveal a highly-mediated environment in which play is manufactured.  
 
The growing trend of Child YouTubers raking in millions of YouTube views and subscribers cannot be ignored. This study seeks to explore the phenomenon by scrutinizing the conditions of fun and play that Child YouTubers feign in order to reveal a highly-mediated environment in which play is manufactured.  
  
Guided by the critical political economy of media framework, I conducted the research in two phases. First, I did a content analysis on the development of all the videos of my chosen Filipino Child YouTube channel, Little Big Toys. In particular, I looked into the changes that the channel underwent throughout the years in response to their growing audience and to the political economy of YouTube (i.e. structure, advertisers). Secondly, I employed a textual analysis to interpret how play, as embodied by the child YouTuber, was manufactured. I did this by first, examining the audio-visual composition of the videos to reveal a highly-mediated environment. Then, I also scrutinized how the child is represented as a consumable brand and, by extension, commodified, by looking at her roles, her appearances, and the brand integrations in her videos.  
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Guided by the critical political economy of media framework, I conducted the research in two phases. First, I did a content analysis on the development of all the videos of my chosen Filipino Child YouTube channel, Little Big Toys. In particular, I looked into the changes that the channel underwent throughout the years in response to their growing audience and to the political economy of YouTube (i.e. structure, advertisers). Second, I employed a textual analysis to interpret how play, as embodied by the child YouTuber, was manufactured. I did this by first, examining the audio-visual composition of the videos to reveal a highly-mediated environment. Then, I also scrutinized how the child is represented as a consumable brand and, by extension, commodified, by looking at her roles, her appearances, and the brand integrations in her videos.  
  
 
By exposing play as manufactured, I shed light on the potentialities of labor and exploitation in the digital economy. In the end, I also want to encourage media labor studies to expand towards the digital economy.   
 
By exposing play as manufactured, I shed light on the potentialities of labor and exploitation in the digital economy. In the end, I also want to encourage media labor studies to expand towards the digital economy.   

Latest revision as of 08:01, 17 March 2020

Abstract

Tolentino, D. E. G. (2019). Work as Play Makes Jack a Great YouTuber: Child Labor and Exploitation in the Digital Economy in the Guise of Manufactured Play, Unpublished Undergraduate Dissertation, University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication.

The growing trend of Child YouTubers raking in millions of YouTube views and subscribers cannot be ignored. This study seeks to explore the phenomenon by scrutinizing the conditions of fun and play that Child YouTubers feign in order to reveal a highly-mediated environment in which play is manufactured.

Guided by the critical political economy of media framework, I conducted the research in two phases. First, I did a content analysis on the development of all the videos of my chosen Filipino Child YouTube channel, Little Big Toys. In particular, I looked into the changes that the channel underwent throughout the years in response to their growing audience and to the political economy of YouTube (i.e. structure, advertisers). Second, I employed a textual analysis to interpret how play, as embodied by the child YouTuber, was manufactured. I did this by first, examining the audio-visual composition of the videos to reveal a highly-mediated environment. Then, I also scrutinized how the child is represented as a consumable brand and, by extension, commodified, by looking at her roles, her appearances, and the brand integrations in her videos.

By exposing play as manufactured, I shed light on the potentialities of labor and exploitation in the digital economy. In the end, I also want to encourage media labor studies to expand towards the digital economy.

Keywords: Political economy, commodification, manufactured play, Child YouTubers, labor, exploitation, textual analysis

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