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Witnessing The Genetic Self: How Non-Specialists Use Reveal Videos To Approach Genetics And Race Through Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Ancestry Testing

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posted on 22.05.2021, 13:56 authored by Megan Berry
This paper investigates the interpretation and expression at work when those without a higher education in genetics take a direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic ancestry test (i.e. AncestryDNA) and then communicate this experience through online video on YouTube, most commonly through the Reveal genre of videos. Through non-random quota sampling a diverse corpus for analysis was created and then analyzed through the lenses of critical race theory, intersectionality, and María Lugones’s concepts of transparency and thickness, with focusing guidance from Gubium and Holstein’s narrative components to uncover how the test-takers approached genetics and race. The variations in how individuals approach their DTC genetic ancestry test results and communicate them through the videos, touching on topics such as race, family, self-identity, and stories, were discovered to work well alongside Roth and Ivemark’s recently presented genetic options theory.





Master of Arts


Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type