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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 13503
Production of authenticity: video discourses in the consumer/producer interface of YouTube
Author: Kassari, Maija
Title: Production of authenticity: video discourses in the consumer/producer interface of YouTube
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; media; media; sosiaalinen media; social media; internet; internet; tietotalous; knowledge economy
Pages: 88
Key terms: authenticity, YouTube, simulation, hyperreality, spectacle, postmodernism, consumer culture theory
Purpose of this study:

The purpose of this study is to understand how consumers produce authenticity in the context of YouTube, in mediatized, postmodern society. I will explore how authenticity production is part of consumers YouTube behavior, and how this behavior is linked to their everyday lives. My research tries to identify the different elements how consumers negotiate authenticity. In addition, my aim is also to shed light on how consumers justify elements of simulation (Baudrillard, 1981) in the YouTube videos.


The theoretical part for the study discussed the literature relating to postmodernism, Consumer Culture Theory (CCT), authenticity, simulation theory and YouTube. The empirical part of the study was interpretative and qualitative in nature. The data was collected by using the long interviews (McCracken, 1988), and there were seven informants, who were all active YouTube users in their everyday lives. YouTube videos were used as an elicitation material to stimulate further discussion from the informants during the interviews.


The main findings of this study reflect that the authenticity is produced by negotiating authenticity, particularly because of the existential nature of the authenticity in the postmodern cultural context. The negotiation is often characterized by Baudrillard's third order of simulation, hyperreality, especially when authenticity is negotiated by consumers' personal goals, dreams, nostalgia or feelings.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.