Fan I Am #8: Own Our Fandom

keys

Now we come to the end of our journey. Well, so far, you know me.

So my conclusions from all my analysis were:

  1. It’s understandable why people identify with fandoms – it’s a core expression.
  2. There are several forms of fans.
  3. Identifying with a ¬†fandom primarily isn’t appropriate for some people as it may be disconnecting – but for others it makes perfect sense. Those cases are those who are highly active in fandoms and/or have professional involvement.
  4. Fandom pathologies often originate from disconnection, over-identification (including with irrelevant demographics), over-investment, and unexpected interruptions.
  5. “Fandom” is best understood as being a broader phenomena than we may think.

Now all this is well and good, but beyond analysis what does this mean? What do we do?

Fortunately I have an answer.

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Fan I Am #7: Looking At Things With A Fandom Eye

Viewpoint Telescope

After having discussed fandom, its role, and fandom as a culture, I want to share an interesting lesson that came from this analysis. This . . . really long analysis.

We may question the primacy of fandom as identity for some people – I certainly do. I think fandom can serve as a primary part of identity for some people who are intimately involved in the relevant material, industries, and so on. I do think it’s not a good idea for people not so involved as they can become disconnected and unaware, investing time in something for social benefits but no other.

But the thing is that there are fandoms that we don’t think of fandoms.

And they can be just as empowering – and just as messed up as any anime fandom or group of band followers.

Let’s talk religion and Politics.*

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Fan I Am #6: Fandom And Larger Culture

Scientist Scope Technology Science

I’d like to take a break from my deeper musing on Fandom to look at how having a Fandom as an identity and as a culture really isn’t that different from non-fannish stuff.

Its probably easy to think of those that identify heavily as Fandom as different. After all most people, say, are not obsessed with “Sleepy Hollow”* Ergo fans are “different” from “other cultures,” which of course is basically bollocks because people are people. We’re just different people.

But when we step back from Fandoms we realize they really are their own culture, albeit embedded in a larger culture. Now, as I’ve argued, identifying primarily with that culture is not always a healthy or positive thing. But cultures they are.

Consider what they have.

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