Durham University

Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Publication details for Max Morris

Morris, M. & Anderson, E. (2015). 'Charlie is so cool like': Authenticity, popularity and inclusive masculinity on YouTube. Sociology 49(6): 1200-1217.

Author(s) from Durham


On the world’s most utilised video-sharing social networking site, YouTube, Charlie McDonnell (Charlieissocoollike), Dan Howell (Danisnotonfire) and Jack and Finn Harries (JacksGap) are Britain’s most popular video-bloggers (vloggers). With more than two million regular subscribers to each of their channels, along with millions of casual viewers, they represent a new form of authentic online celebrity. These young men, whose YouTube careers began as teenagers, do not espouse a traditional form of masculinity; they are not sporty, macho or even expressly concerned with being perceived as heterosexual. Instead, they present a softer masculinity, eschewing the homophobia, misogyny and aggression attributed to boys of previous generations. These behaviours are theorised using Anderson’s Inclusive Masculinity Theory. Drawing on analysis of 115 video-blogs (vlogs), along with an in-depth interview with Charlie McDonnell, this article examines how these young men developed and exhibit their inclusive masculinities and attitudes, which we postulate are a reflection of dominant youth culture