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From the Fan History research wiki [1]:

"Fan History defines fandom as a collection of different cultures. These cultures are dependent on the communities created based on the source of the fannishness, the canon that a community has adopted. This philosophy underlines the whole of the wiki. This approach is categorically different than most of the research being done on fan fiction, which focuses on fandom as an extension of the source. Fan History rarely focuses on the product that was created by fans, but on fans themselves.

This approach to fandom is used on Fan History as the maintainer and creator of the Fan History comes from an educational, historical and interdisciplinary approach to fandom studies. The maintainer has Masters of Education in Instructional Technology. Her exposure to feminist and literary approaches to critique fandom are thus limited. Educational research tends to focus on different population groups. The characteristics of the population are defined. They are then sorted into subpopulations based on their differences. The subpopulations are then evaluated, compared back to the larger population and conclusions are drawn. Education puts an emphasis on highlighting differences and puts tremendous value into defining those differences. This is not the case in other disciplines.

One example where this is most clear is in defining fan fiction communities. A literary, sociological and communications approach would define fan fiction based on Star Trek and Good Charlotte as fundamentally the same because both types of fan fiction include stories derived from other sources. These groups would then be subdivided into Media fan fiction and Real Person Fan Fiction. The difference is based on the source of the material for which the fannish texts are derived. Fan History, because of the educational perspective, defines the communities differently, based on the culture around which the fans are creating their products, the demographic composition of each group and the histories of each population. The boundaries of Media fan fiction and Real Person Fic are viewed as artificially imposed and do not necessarily reflect real differences in the communities. Fan History would argue that while they are both writing fan fiction, Good Charlotte fans are not similar to Star Trek fans because of demographic and historical differences in their communities. " (


Via Henry Jenkins [2]:

[Fandom] is built on psychological mechanisms that are relevant to political involvement: these are concerned with the realm of fantasy and imagination on the one hand, and with emotional processes on the other...The remaining question then becomes whether and how politics can borrow from the elements of popular culture that produce these intense audience investments, so that citizenship becomes entertaining.

- Liesbeth van Zoonen, Entertaining the Citizen

Scratch an activist and you're apt to find a fan. It's no mystery why: fandom provides a space to explore fabricated worlds that operate according to different norms, laws, and structures than those we experience in our "real" lives. Fandom also necessitates relationships with others: fellow fans with whom to share interests, develop networks and institutions, and create a common culture. This ability to imagine alternatives and build community, not coincidentally, is a basic prerequisite for political activism.

- Steven Duncombe, "Imagining No-Place"

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