Date of Award

Summer 2017

Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Philip Barlow

Second Advisor

Lynne McNeill

Third Advisor

Jared Colton

Abstract

As the internet’s second-most trafficked site, behind only Google in both the United States and globally, and with 600,000 hours of content uploaded and one billion hours viewed daily by more than one billion monthly users, YouTube’s reach and scope is vast. Growing out of a need to better facilitate the production and distribution of online video, YouTube was able to become dominant through a combination of factors including the implementation of innovative features, an ability to capitalize on popular videos hosted on its site, and good timing in managing to become a key component of the social media revolution. YouTube, through its ubiquity and ease of use, has provided the tools for institutions, professionals, and individual members of society to tell their own stories, to share their own talents, to play their own music, both literally and figuratively, and to otherwise express themselves as never before. In translating their culture onto YouTube, Mormons have been able to do all of this, with an additional focus on sharing their beliefs, values, and religion, both directly and indirectly. While elements of Mormon belief, history and society can be found reflected in their YouTube videos, Moreover, YouTube has allowed Mormons and other cultures to refine and add new dimensions to their cultures, which in turn has helped to reshape their societies. In this symbiotic process, culture continues to develop the societies that create it.

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