Work In Progress: Applying SMM to Fan Studies

This draft comes from a presentation given at the 2018 MPCA/ACA conference in Indianapolis. Introduction Communication scholar Brenda Dervin created the Sense-Making Methodology as a methodological approach for conducting interviews that draws on metatheoretical concepts such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, and the humanistic approach to psychology. Since its formulation, Sense-Making Methodology (SMM) has been utilized across…

Defining Fandom as Repeatedly Returning

I presented this idea, based on previous work, at the MPCA/ACA conference of October 2018. I present it here for us to have a conversation about what it means to be a fan and how we define what a fan is.

Fans of Trump, Fans of Jesus

To start. I want to return to the original conceptionalization of fanaticism defining fandom. So, let’s do a dive back into what this word means. Merriam-Webster defines “fanaticism” as having a “fanatic outlook or behavior.” Well, that’s not helpful, because it defines the term with a different version of it; so, what is fanatic? The…

Fandom as Repeatedly Returning to What Matters Most

Being a fan can mean many different things to many different people. It may mean a person likes to collect memorabilia for a favorite sports team. It may mean a group like to wear costumes and reenact an important event. It may mean individuals compete with one another to test their knowledge in trivia contests….