YouTubers' social functions and their influence on pre-adolescence
Keywords:Teens, adolescent, YouTube, youtubers, youth identity, values, social media, digital culture
This study focuses on the relationship between preadolescents and youtubers, with the objective of observing how tweens integrate youtubers as referents of a teen digital culture. From a socio-psychological and communicological perspective, a mixed methodological design was applied to carry out the audience study, which was divided into two parts: a quantitative analysis of the audience via a survey administered to 1,406 eleven-twelve year old students of Catalan Secondary Schools, and a qualitative analysis of the preadolescence audience using three focus groups. The quantitative data was analysed with SPSS and the qualitative data with the help of the Atlas.ti software. The results demonstrate that tweens consider youtubers as referents for entertainment and for closeness to a teen digital culture, but not really as a role models or bearers of values as influencers. Also, preadolescents show some dimensions of Media Literacy, since they recognise youtubers’ commercial strategies and their role as actors and professionals. The study notes gender bias in some aspects, and is an introduction to observation of the social functions of youtubers amongst teenagers, individuals who are in the process of constructing their identity and on the point of becoming young adults..