Becoming Neoliberal Subjects: "Morning Routine" Vlogging and Everyday Life

Qian Chen

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


Neoliberalism, originally concerned within political field, has obtained a wide range of connotations in social sciences studies. The heavy emphasis on free and private markets has led to a shifted focus on individual responsibilities of one's life and creations of neoliberal subjects. A video blog, shortened as vlog, is a digital form of blog that utilizes video as the medium. The past few years have witnessed the growing popularity of vlogging, as it has become one of the most commonly used method for recording everyday life. Living in a media era where our everyday experiences are very much based on social networking sites, self-presentations are very often structured by different employment of media. This paper selects six "Morning Routine" vloggings on YouTube and attempt the answer the research question of how these morning routines vloggers perform and construct their neoliberal selves on a daily basis, employing Michel Foucaulfs concepts on governmentality and biopolitics. Discourse analysis is used to investigate how these Youtubers present themselves through languages and non-verbal communications. Transcripts of six vloggings are collected as qualitative data and three themes are found after two rounds of coding. A clean space is strongly desired by these YouTubers because a clean and organized environment stimulates a clean mind which can generate more productivity on personal performance. Self-discipline is practiced through building of a healthy and fit body with physical exercise and nutritional and balanced diet. While simple and natural life philosophy is advocated when it comes to using daily care products, consumption is further strengthened through sponsorship and celebrity influence. The findings suggest that these "morning routine" activities are vivid manifestations on how these YouTubers construct their identities as neoliberal subjects as they present themselves as organized, self-disciplined and motivated subjects who are aware of personal responsibilities in making life better and achieving greater success.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECSM 2021 8th European Conference on Social Media
EditorsChristos Karpasitis
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781914587016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2021
EventECSM 2021 8th European Conference on Social Media - Univeristy of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jul 20212 Jul 2021


ConferenceECSM 2021 8th European Conference on Social Media
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

User-Defined Keywords

  • neoliberalism
  • neoliberal subjects
  • governmentality
  • biopolitics
  • technologies of self
  • vlogging


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