Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Women's and Gender Studies

Degree Program

Women's and Gender Studies, MA

Committee Chair

Story, Kaila A.

Committee Member

Caldwell, Anne

Committee Member

Gagné, Patricia

Author's Keywords

transgender; youtube; resilience; worldmaking; social media; community


This thesis presents an exploratory account of ways that transgender people’s personal YouTube channels, or “vlogs,” provide new avenues to cultivate resilience as a collective. To make sense of this unstable, contested model of identity and community, I apply a three-part model of “social resilience,” a theory of resilience that transcends the individual and welcomes incoherency, contradiction, and “messiness” into its analysis. In Chapter One, I provide a snapshot of transgender history and present my research objective and justification. Chapter Two consists of a literature review and argues in favor of a hybrid theory of intersectionality and assemblage. Chapter Three outlines my epistemological frameworks and methods, and the limitations of qualitative social media research. In Chapter Four, I present my findings, and in Chapter Five I evaluate the potential for cultivating three dimensions of resilience through YouTube before offering suggestions for future research.