The Who, What, and Why of Fandoms.

In the early part of 2020, I posted a survey on all of my social media accounts (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook) as well as my website focused on learning people’s perceptions of fandom culture based on their participation in it. By August of this year, it had gained more than 2100 responses.

Time Spent in Fandoms
Fandoms by Continent
Fandoms by Type

“People create a lot of visually stunning art and the fanfics are often a lot better written than most books in my library.”

What I found most interesting were the responses that I got when I asked people what fandoms contributed to their lives.

Fandoms as an Identity

“With fandoms come art, and art has always been a way to influence others, to make them see things from your perspective.”

“When you’re surrounded by something so huge and something in which you put parts of your soul, it has a greater impact on you.”

I think my favorite comment throughout the survey was this one, pulled from the question where I asked about identity, as it sums up how I’ve always felt about stories.

“The greatest stories are the ones that people still talk about. There are Aesops and morals to be learned from any great story if you look closely enough. After all, don’t we all want to be like our heroes?”

These people see fandoms as important. They think of themselves as parts of a family of people bonding over creation and the shared experience of a story. Whether it’s giving them somewhere to belong or something to believe in, for those of us that count ourselves as part of them, fandoms are more than just a pastime for teenagers. They’re communities around the world full of people who want nothing more than to share with others the things that they love, and in that way, they’re beautiful.

Hello! I’m Cat, author and amateur fandom historian based out of Georgia. I write about literature, theater, gaming, and fandom. Personal work: catwebling.com.

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