Dr. Carrie

Categorizing Fractured Fandom

Defining Fractured Fandom

According to the discipline of fan studies, at this point in history, being a fan is considered a positive for any individual. Being a fan helps people discover their identities, and to determine what they like and do not like. Being a fan helps people find friends, establish communities, and develop a sense of belonging. Being a fan allows people to express themselves creatively, whether through theories, writing, art works, or costumes. Being a fan represents a means for everyday people to establish themselves as active and powerful creators and participants in a capitalistic system that otherwise sees them as nothing more than passive consumers. In other words, being a fan, especially since the advent of the Internet, is considered a positive aspect of life.

There are times, however, when being a fan presents a problem: a problem for the fan; for others the fan engages with either inside or outside of any fan community; or for entire fan communities that clash with one another, whether from the same fandom, from different fandoms, or outside the context of any fandom. Sometimes, what one fan considers good another might consider bad. These differences hold the potential to cause problems in how individuals treat one another, and can impact people’s behaviors in such a way that what once seemed brilliant and fun becomes unwelcoming or even threatening. When an individual’s sense of self depends too much on identifying as a fan, or when a fan questions the legitimacy of another group of fans, then fandom becomes problematic. Such instances can lead to what I call fractured fandom.

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Analyzing Obama’s 2012 Victory Speech

In the early hours of November 7th, 2012, Barack Obama took the stage at the McCormick Center in Chicago to give his re-election victory speech after Republican challenger Mitt Romney had conceded the defeat of Ohio, and as Ohio went, so went the nation.  In about 20 minutes, Obama thanked his family, his friends, his supporters, and laid out a vision of what American is, can be, should be, and will be.

Now, I am not posting about his speech because I am a liberal.  No, I am posting about his speech because I like to play with data and being the ever curious scholar, I wanted to see what Obama’s victory speech would look like as a tag cloud.

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The Rise of Hentai in America, Part 3

[This is the final part of the women studies paper I wrote on hentai.  You can find Part 1, on the definition of hentai, here, and Part 2, on the comparison of hentai to live action pornography, here.  And, once again, the material covered in this part is strictly NSFW.]

While it may not be as prevalent or have the same tradition in our society that live action pornography does, there is no mistaking that hentai is here and is accessible, highly so if we consider the role of the Internet in its dispersion.  We have seen in this essay that its similarities to live action pornography mean it could have similar impacts on consumers, and these impacts may be further influenced by the simulacrum nature of hentai girls and the fantasies they offer.  Even if these texts are read as humorous, their situatedness in our society, in our public discourse that attempts to both normalize sex and keep it hidden, suggests that even harmless appearing cartoons can reinforce the ideology of male domination if it remains unchallenged.

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Fear the Virtual World?

I must make a confession up front: I would never have watched The Ghost Whisperer if it was not for my involvement with the Virtual Worlds Research Project at Roskilde Unviersity.  I’m most certainly not a Jennifer Love Hewitt fan, and the idea of the series never captured me.  Especially since it was on Friday nights, and that was usually my veg out with movies … Continue reading Fear the Virtual World?