Fan activism

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Fan activism is a “forms of civic engagement and political participation that emerge from within fan culture itself, often in response to the shared interests of fans, often conducted through the infrastructure of existing fan practices and relationships, and often framed through metaphors drawn from popular and participatory culture”.[1] It utilizes the enthusiasm and empathy of the fan community to raise awareness of social concerns or otherwise support the ideals expressed by object(s) of the fandom. The rise of fan activism has been attributed to the emergence of new media.[2][3]

Examples of fan activism include campaigns for social equality including representation of minorities in entertainment media,[4] fund raising for organisations with common values,[5] campaigning for the continuation of a television program[6] or sporting team[7] and defending fan works from commercial exploitation and allegations of copyright infringement.[8][9]

Notable groups that are associated with fan activism include the Harry Potter Alliance, Fans4Writers, Nerdfighteria and the Organization for Transformative Works.


  1. ^ Jenkins H and Shresthova S. (Eds.) 2012. Up, up and away! The power and potential of fan activism. Transformative Works and Cultures. Volume 10.
  2. ^ Jenkins H. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. NYU Press. 2006.
  3. ^ Earl J and Kimport K. Movement societies and digital protest: Fan activism and other nonpolitical protest online. American Sociological Association. 2009.
  4. ^ Lopez L. K. Fan activists and the politics of race in The Last Airbender. Sage. 2012.
  5. ^ Bennett L.'If we stick together we can do anything’: Lady Gaga fandom, philanthropy and activism through social media. Taylor and Francis LTD. 2014.
  6. ^ Scardaville M. C. Accidental activists: Fan activism in the soap opera community. Thomson Reuters. 2014.
  7. ^ Moller M. Grassfoots ethics: The case of souths versus news corporation. Cambridge University Press. 2003.
  8. ^ McLeod K. Confessions of an Intellectual (property): Danger Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Sonny Bono, and my long and winded path as a copyright activist-academic. Taylor and Francis LTD. 2005.
  9. ^ Bukart P. Music and Cyberliberties. Wesleyan University Press. 2010.