Textbooks, Cell Phones, and Diapers: Being a Dad in Adolescent Fathers’ Own Words

Giorgia Riboni 1 *
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1 Università degli Studi di Torino, Torino, ITALY
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 12, Issue 3, Article No: e202221. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/12226
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This study sets out to investigate YouTube videos posted by adolescent fathers in order to identify the rhetorical and discursive strategies they utilize. More specifically, it aims to provide a description of how these young men represent themselves and construct their online identity with regard to their gender and to their age. This paper intends to shed light on the intersections between masculinity and age discourses, drawing on the premise that they are particularly strong when it comes to teenage parenthood. An ad hoc data set consisting of YouTube videos featuring teen dads has been built and analyzed through the approach of social media critical discourse studies, which combines theories and concepts belonging to the traditions of CDA and digital humanities. Preliminary results indicate that YouTube dads negotiate their identities as fathers, males, and teenagers by trying to reconcile the contradictions and expectations that characterize masculinity, fatherhood, and adolescence/adulthood discourses. Their identity work reveals a strategic alternation between the adoption of the teenage “self” and the adult “self”, which serves the purpose of coming across as “good fathers” in spite of being “kids having kids”.


Riboni, G. (2022). Textbooks, Cell Phones, and Diapers: Being a Dad in Adolescent Fathers’ Own Words. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 12(3), e202221. https://doi.org/10.30935/ojcmt/12226


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