Media fandom

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Media fandom as a term has been around since the late 1970s and has traditionally been used to describe fandoms for television shows [1] and movies. [2][3] Some academics use the term to include "science fiction and computer and videogames." [4]


Class and media fandom

The Lure of the Vampire: Gender, Fiction and Fandom from Bram Stoker to Buffy by Milly Williamson claims that media fandom is orientated towards the middle class. (pg. 95) [5]

Real person fandom and media fandom

Pre-popslash and lotrips, "fans entering traditional media fandom before 2000 were initiated by learning that RPF was not to be done"[6], and some in media fandom still feel that way.

RPF fandom existed before and often separately from media fandom[7], although popslash, lotrips and some bandom fandoms have had a high percentage of participants from media fandom.

Other fandoms and media fandom

Wrestling [8], literary, comic and anime and manga [9] fanfic writers and artists also don't generally consider themselves part of media fandom. Many members of band fandoms outside of popslash do not consider themselves part of media fandom either, although that is less true in the fandoms for bands such as My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and other groups related to the bandom-in-the-exclusive scene which has a large crossover membership with media fandom.

Historical definitions

The following definition dates to March 2003:

Although we tend to think of sf fandom as the fandom, there are many others. I have already mentioned media, comics and gamer fandoms as groups which overlap our own. Media fandom is the closest and a direct descendent, the two distinguishing characteristics being (1) a limited focus on a particular media production (e.g., Dr. Who) and (2) a more commercially oriented fan press. ... Video and movie fandoms are similar to media fandom, but are not limited to sf. [10]

The following definition dates to March 2007:

Another definition of Fandom (Media Fandom is sometimes used) is the shared appreciation of your favorite books, movies, TV, comics, etc. This can be expressed either through talking with other fans at conventions or via the Internet, or phone, or by whatever means -- or not at all. You can of course be a fan in the privacy of your own home. Fandom takes a wide variety of forms, many of which are creative, like costuming, art and writing, or don't require much creativity at all, like buying a book. [11]

The following definition dates to December 2007:

It’s a reference to media fandom, and specifically to fan ficton, fan videos and other art forms that use pop culture (movies, television shows, books) as the starting point for remix and reinterpretation. Fanfic writers tell stories that build on the characters and universes of Star Trek or Harry Potter and write scenarios that the authors never got around to writing… or never intended to write. Vidders recut TV or video footage, often editing clips to a soundtrack to feature emotional aspects of a show, frequently relationships between characters. [12]

External Links



Below is a partial list of articles and academic sources to help you continue to learn about this community.

  • MacDonald, Andrea. "Uncertain Utopia: Science Fiction Media Fandom & Computer Mediated Communication," in Harris, Cheryl, ed. Theorizing Fandom: Fans, Subculture and Identity. Cresskill, NY: Hampton Press. 1998.
  • Schimmel, Kimberly S.; Harrington, C. Lee; Bielby, Denise D.. "Keep Your Fans to Yourself: The Disjuncture between Sport Studies' and Pop Culture Studies' Perspectives on Fandom" Sport in Society 10.4 (2007). 16 Jan. 2008 <>
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