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 Co-Chair (if applicable)

Caldwell, Anne

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.