Fractured Fandom

This page began with a focus on the cartoon series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and its unexpected audiences and fans, but since then the research has taken a different direction.  In looking into this show and its fandom, I became interested in how this disparate audience relates to the other, more intended audiences of the series, and what happens when the overall fandom of the series tries to contain these disparate audiences.  It is a phenomenon that occurs in other fandoms as where where fans cross gendered and generational lines.

Much public discourse and academic scholarship has been on celebrating fans and their fandoms, and I wholeheartedly agree that there are many benefits to being a fan.  But, at the same time, we are starting to recognize the problems that exist within fandoms, that threaten to emotionally and even physically hurt fans, and these problems should be addressed for fandom as a phenomenon, as an institution, as a way of life to truly be celebrate.

In an analysis of what I am terming “fractured fandom”, I examine how the different audiences in the MLP:FIM fandom responded to the announcement and release of the series’ first animated feature, Equestria Girls.  However, I also plan on going beyond just this case study, looking at the problems that exist through fandom that can tear fans apart, can make being a fan no longer a fun thing, by looking at the stories people have from all fandoms, not just media or pop culture ones.  If there is a problem with fandom in general, and with being a fan, then we need to address what that problem is — and why the fracturing is occurring.

You can follow this ongoing research project by checking out these blog posts:

24 responses to “Fractured Fandom”

  1. Gendering Robots: A Class Discussion – It's Playing, Just With Research Avatar

    […] and I would love to collaborate on this project. I just have a book to write first on my fractured fandom […]


  2. Pop Culture Lens on Hello Kitty – It's Playing, Just With Research Avatar

    […] All of this helps me think about advice I can give for dealing problems in communicating, such as fractured fandom […]


  3. Power as Causing Fractured Fandoms – It's Playing, Just With Research Avatar

    […] this blog, I have talked about fractured fandom at length. I define fractured fandom as problems, tensions, and conflict between fans within fan […]


  4. Twitter Dialogues – It's Playing, Just With Research Avatar

    […] that Storify is going away in May 2018, and I had been using the platform to store tweets for my Fractured Fandom project, such as this list that helped me curate stories for my research: Stories of and Thoughts […]


  5. Fractured Fandom and Power Flows – It's Playing, Just With Research Avatar

    […] is the entire presentation with all results and examples from the fractured fandom […]


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