Jump to content
Corvidae

Fangirls/Fanboys - Fandoms in General.

Recommended Posts

Replace fandom with:

-club

-religion (they share similar beliefs of a sort)

-group

-pack

-band

-faction

-clique

-(political) party

 

...or any other type of group you can think of, particularly ones that share similar beliefs. The need to belong is a very basic thing that has lasted an incredibly long time, just like Shienvien said.

 

The only think "different" about fandom is that it's a relatively new word. It's also a much larger group, due to many different aspects of technology and communication.

 

The reason why they're so unifying is because they all like the same stuff. They share a similar belief that the media is good. It's no different from anything else.

There are arguable similarities with some of those things, but none quite fit. It seems that fandoms are most similar to radical nationalism like what was seen in the early 1900s, but they're founded on something even more trivial than "I was born within X border." But even despite its triviality, the simple fact of common media tastes becomes radically unifying and creates fierce loyalty and group behavior. It's not that the need to belong is new, or that people trying to fulfill that need is new, it's that this is a pretty new way of going about fulfilling it (by piling on self-professed membership in various fandoms). The internet obviously aids and perpetuates it, probably by giving us the ability to have a "oh, you like them TOO?" moment, while also removing the need to know all the little bothersome things about a person that would keep us from closely identifying with them on the basis of such a small commonality.

Share this post


Link to post

There are arguable similarities with some of those things, but none quite fit. It seems that fandoms are most similar to radical nationalism like what was seen in the early 1900s, but they're founded on something even more trivial than "I was born within X border."

Define "triviality". The draw of fandoms is mostly automatically knowing that you have at least *something* to discuss with the other person, as opposed to going "Any hobbies? ...Uh, I don't know much about competitive dancing. How about F1? No. Okay... Politics? Ah, so you're quite indifferent towards it. What else...".

 

Also, *all* groups have both radical members and people who just belong. I can guarantee you the vast majority of people who consider themselves a part of a fandom or another do not center their lives around it. Being part of a fandom (or simply focusing on some show/comic or whatever is there) is essentially a hobby like any other, with its own gatherings and communities. They are no different from, say, stamp collectors.

Edited by Shienvien

Share this post


Link to post
Define "triviality". The draw of fandoms is mostly automatically knowing that you have at least *something* to discuss with the other person, as opposed to going "Any hobbies? ...Uh, I don't know much about competitive dancing. How about F1? No. Okay... Politics? Ah, so you're quite indifferent towards it. What else...".

 

Also, *all* groups have both radical members and people who just belong. I can guarantee you the vast majority of people who consider themselves a part of a fandom or another do not center their lives around it. Being part of a fandom (or simply focusing on some show/comic or whatever is there) is essentially a hobby like any other, with its own gatherings and communities. They are no different from, say, stamp collectors.

I don't mean it in a demeaning way. Obviously it's important to appreciate art and media. That's not a bad thing. But compared to things I can't change, like my ethnic heritage and where I was born, or things that supposedly impact all areas of my life, like religion, what book I read and enjoyed last week or what show I keep up with when it's on television is relatively insignificant. That's what I mean by triviality. You said yourself, most people don't orient their lives around their media tastes, but my life is oriented around where I live and what I believe. And what you're saying is exactly why I think fandoms are different and intriguing. They allow people to bypass things that our lives ARE generally centered around and form relationships and communities solely on the basis of things that in everyday life are considered more peripheral.

 

I also don't see many stamp collectors creating fan-accounts on social media for their favorite stamp artists... I'm fairly certain there's a clear difference between Beliebers/Bronys/Whovians and stamp collectors. And again, the difference I see is between "I enjoy stamps" and "I am part of the so-and-so stamp artist fandom." I myself am a huge literature buff, but to say that I enjoy literature broadly, or even that I like a particular author like John Steinbeck, isn't as exclusive and self-indentifying as saying "I'm part of the John Steinbeck fandom!" Do you see the difference? It's taking something common, like love of literature, reducing it to its minuscule parts, like individual authors or works of fiction, and then identifying yourself according to that extremely narrowed category. I'm not saying it's a bad thing necessarily, I'm just saying that it seems like a new unique manifestation of old human habits, most likely fostered by online discussion forums and sites like 4Chan and Tumblr that facilitate the development of sub-cultures.

Share this post


Link to post
I also don't see many stamp collectors creating fan-accounts on social media for their favorite stamp artists... I'm fairly certain there's a clear difference between Beliebers/Bronys/Whovians and stamp collectors. And again, the difference I see is between "I enjoy stamps" and "I am part of the so-and-so stamp artist fandom."

I think you are fixating too much on the "artist" part of the stamp collectors part. (How many bronies worship ... whoever drew the cartoons? I bet many of them do not even know who the artistic team behind the cartoons is currently composed of.) The same way, you are too stuck on the word "fandom", which in its loosest sense is simply "fans of X", or people who identify themselves by being fond of X.

 

And no, the same way there are "I like the Dr. Who series" people and "Whovians", there are people who collect stamps as a leisurey past-time and stamp fanatics who will proudly proclaim themselves as a part of this group of people (if not "culture") and attend stamp collector conventions and so forth. In my eyes, it is the exact same behaviour. (Devout stamp collectors are rare nowadays, though.)

Share this post


Link to post

I think you are fixating too much on the "artist" part of the stamp collectors part. (How many bronies worship ... whoever drew the cartoons? I bet many of them do not even know who the artistic team behind the cartoons is currently composed of.)  The same way, you are too stuck on the word "fandom", which in its loosest sense is simply "fans of X", or people who identify themselves by being fond of X.

 

And no, the same way there are "I like the Dr. Who series" people and "Whovians", there are people who collect stamps as a leisurey past-time and stamp fanatics who will proudly proclaim themselves as a part of this group of people (if not "culture") and attend stamp collector conventions and so forth.  In my eyes, it is the exact same behaviour. (Devout stamp collectors are rare nowadays, though.)

Claiming membership in a "fandom" is quite different from self-identifying as "being fond of X." I'm quite fond of the Harry Potter series, but I'm in no way part of the "fandom." There is something about the conceptual, abstract membership in a collective that appeals to people. I'm not fixating on the word, I'm fixating on the phenomenon of people grouping themselves according to that word and then assuming an identity on the basis thereof. And in a sense, the word and its usage is important. There is a psychological difference between expressing taste/preference and claiming membership in a group. If there are rabid stamp collectors who participate in similar behaviors, then I would classify them under the same heading, but they're far less prevalent around the internet, and certainly don't have the same popular appeal. It's a cultural cliche now to be a brony or Whovian or something similar, something pop-culturally relevant.

Edited by philpot123

Share this post


Link to post

or things that supposedly impact all areas of my life, like religion, what book I read and enjoyed last week or what show I keep up with when it's on television is relatively insignificant.

That's the thing, though. Being a fan of something would be akin to what you've described.

 

To be in fandom actually often IS to have it have a major impact on multiple/all areas of your life, for good or for bad.

 

 

For example, I consider myself part of the Tale fandom. The games have a deep impact on my life. They impact the social aspect, in that I most often interact with people who have at least some passing contact with the series. They've provided me with ideas to consider and discuss, ways to explore myself and my creativity, and I can find relevant quotes in them from everything from personal motivation to my political and personal viewpoints. (It's not always a case of the games presenting things that alter my views, but it's often a case of finding something in the games that helps express the views I hold because it's worded better than I did or something).

 

Hell, the dang game that's my favorite impacted my love life. As in, I've actually found somebody I care for as something beyond a friend and, if possible, would love to actually be with. (The whole "living in vastly different parts of the country" thing is really what puts a damper on that at the moment).

 

Not only that, but I can attribute the fact that I'm even still alive to sub-fandom for the game I like. The people I met and bonded with because of my favorite game gave me reason to keep going when I otherwise had no will to live for myself or anybody else, when I was at one of the worst points in my struggle with depression.

 

 

Fandom is much more than just "we like this same thing". Fandom often helps forge strong bonds because you like the same thing--except it's more than that, too. I tend to discover that I like the same thing as another person, and that the reasons we have for it are similar, which reflect other similar viewpoints and other things we can agree on and discuss.

 

I'm fixating on the phenomenon of people grouping themselves according to that word and then assuming an identity on the basis thereof.

Honestly I don't see much difference between that and people who call themselves Christian while rejecting the label of any one specific denomination.

 

They're aligning themselves insofar as they hold certain beliefs broadly attributed to the various Christian denominations, but reject the more strictly held set of more intensive beliefs that are held by the specific denominations.

Edited by KageSora

Share this post


Link to post

Hmmm.. *rubs chin in deep thought* I'm not a fan of any of those example fandoms in the first post.

 

I guess I can say I'm a fan of Avatar and Legend of Korra. I took a fancy to waterbending in particular. I even took Tai Chi lessons because of that. As to why I became a fan in the first place, it's a way of life I suppose. It has Asian culture embedded in the anime (most prominent is Chinese though). In addition, the bending art are really cool.

Share this post


Link to post

Claiming membership in a "fandom" is quite different from self-identifying as "being fond of X."
The word "fan" is generally somewhat stronger than "liker", but otherwise I would say the only difference is the choice of the term you decide to describe yourself with...

 

Edited by Shienvien

Share this post


Link to post

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.