The ACE Family Parasocial Relationships and Evolving Representations of Family
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 11:14 by Sofia Liang
Although families have appeared in the media in various forms and mediums, representations of family now include a newer genre of social media influencers known as family influencers (Abidin, 2017). Family influencers post user-generated content (UGC) on social media platforms of and about their families and lives as a form of income to achieve micro-celebrity status (Abidin, 2017). The ACE Family is one of the most popular and subscribed to family influencers and have consistently posted videos following their lives and success over the past few years. With a multitude of different types of videos on their channel to engage their viewers, some of their videos show more of their day-to-day lives and activities. This research paper explores representations of family and elements of parasocial interaction theory with family influencers by using the ACE Family as a case study to analyze a sample of eight of their videos representing their daily lives over the course of two years from 2017 to 2018. Informed by parasocial interaction theory and previous studies, the textual and visual analysis largely consists of emergent coding to answer the research questions: (1) What elements of the Parasocial Interaction Theory and affordances of user-generated content does the ACE Family use? (2) In what ways and with what techniques does the ACE Family convey ideas of family through their self-produced YouTube videos? The results revealed that the ACE Family frequently and consistently uses various parasocial interaction strategies to convey images of normalcy while presenting non-traditional ideas of family similar to professionally produced programming. This paper contributes to understandings of how parasocial interaction strategies can be effectively used in portraying representations or images of social media influencers and how media portrayals of family are evolving with the affordances of user-generated content.