YouTube Generated Video Clips as Qualitative Research Data: One Researcher’s Reflections on the Process

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The ever-developing arena of social media blurs lines separating public and private spheres. Voluntary usage of social media platforms transforms users’ personal and sometimes private imaginings into publicly accessible artifacts. The entanglement of these two domains demands society’s consideration as policy makers, employers, and qualitative inquirers contend with making meaning of messages initiated within the social media sphere in a world extending beyond it. In this article, I reflect on interplay with a subset of data from my dissertation featuring transcripts pulled from YouTube videos posted by self-identified biracial individuals. As I attempted to instill dialogic properties into what could have been unidirectional interactions, I confronted several challenges. I managed pressures of simultaneous allegiances to my research goals and to the integrities of my informants who were not aware that they were informing me. This article provides insight into navigating these tensions, which are necessary and, to date, too scarcely available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-767
Number of pages9
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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