The The mediatization of self-tracking
Knowledge production and community building in YouTube videos
Keywords:mediatization, self-tracking, YouTube, knowledge production, community building, masculinity
This article investigates a community of men who use the pharmaceuticals Minoxidil and Finasteride to enable and restore beard and hair growth, and who track and trace the effects on YouTube. It argues that the traditional positions of expert and patient are deterritorialized by the digitalization of health discourses and practices, and that the camera in these YouTube videos acts as a mediating/performative factor. The article seeks to answer the question of community formation among the male self-trackers. It offers a generic, analytical model where knowledge production is outlined as either expert or practitioner and community formation as either community member or community leader, both of which figure as intersecting axes on a continuum. Although derived from the case material, the article suggests that the generic, analytical model works across different audiovisually mediated selftracking communities and practices.
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