N. 10 (2024): The Discursive Construction of Contemporary Family Types

“Flip the Script” on Transracial Adoption: Counter Discourse Activism on Social Media

Giorgia Riboni
Università di Torino

Pubblicato 2024-06-27

Come citare

Riboni, G. (2024). “Flip the Script” on Transracial Adoption: Counter Discourse Activism on Social Media. De Genere - Rivista Di Studi Letterari, Postcoloniali E Di Genere, (10), 121–138. Recuperato da https://www.degenere-journal.it/index.php/degenere/article/view/201


This paper presents a case study of counter discourse activism on YouTube. By analysing a selection of videos produced by the social media user Lilly Fei, the research sets out to investigate the lexical, rhetorical, and discursive strategies she uses to challenge dominating narratives on transracial adoption, thus “flipping the script” on the issue. The recently emerging approach of Social Media Critical Discourse Studies (SM-CDS), which relies on the tenets of both Critical Discourse Analysis and digital humanities, was chosen for the investigation. Results suggest that the counter discourse promoted through Lilly Fei’s channel finds its legitimacy in her personal involvement in the topic and the first-hand quality of her narratives. The YouTuber is also able to construct a trustworthy and expert online persona that gives voice to the minority of transracial adoptees, thus providing them with the possibility of being publicly represented while, at the same time, offering their parents some guidance as to how they can communicate with and support their children adequately.