"A Jedi like my father before me": Social identity and the New York Comic Con

Jen Gunnels


Very few venues exist for adults to play dress-up, with Renaissance festivals, comic and other media conventions, and live-action role-playing games comprising the bulk of these venues. This sort of behavior is expected of people in their formative years—children and teenagers—where they try on and receive feedback about the "range of possible extensions of the self" (Elliot 1986, quoted in Kaiser 1996:162). What might be the reasoning behind the behavior of adults doing so, especially after primary socialization has occurred?


Comic Cons; Community; Cosplay; Fan studies; Generation X; Identity; Performance studies; Sociology; Star Wars

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