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Ridiculing suffering on YouTube: digital parodies of emo style
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Humlab.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4240-6490
Linnéuniversitetet, Institutionen för musik och bild (MB).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2071-349X
2016 (English)In: Blunt traumas: negotiating suffering and death / [ed] Nate Hinerman, Holly Lynn Baumgartner, Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press , 2016, p. 31-40Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Numerous YouTube videos represent and comment on self-injury, as evidenced by a search for this term, which produces about 123,000 results (6 June 2014). In previous studies, we have explored how suffering, the body, and gender are performed in such personal videos. During our YouTube study, we have also encountered a specific category of video clips that merits further discussion: videos that in different ways attempt to parody or make fun of self-injury and mental distress. What most of them have in common is that they focus on self-injury as part of the so-called emo subculture or emo style. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss what such videos tell us about cultural conceptions of suffering and gender. Our analysis builds on a small sample of three YouTube videos in which emo culture and mental distress are parodied and ridiculed through exaggeration. We demonstrate that the parodies revolve around two main points: emo as a stylised performance of suffering, and emo as queer masculinity. The chapter concludes by suggesting that this ridiculing of emo culture builds upon discourses of hegemonic masculinity and normative heterosexuality which are also likely to have consequences for the understanding of mental suffering, emotional sensitivity, and gender in a broader context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press , 2016. p. 31-40
Keywords [en]
Emo, gender, humour, masculinity, mental suffering, parody, queer, self-injury, social media, video
National Category
Ethnology Cultural Studies Art History
Research subject
Humanities, Visual Culture
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-131796ISBN: 978-1-84888-469-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-131796DiVA, id: diva2:1076119
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Funder
Knut and Alice Wallenberg FoundationAvailable from: 2016-06-14 Created: 2017-02-22 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Johansson, AnnaSternudd, Hans T.

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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