Cuteness, friendship, and identity in the brony community
I examine the practices of fan productivity and gender negotiation in brony fandom, the community of primarily college-age men who are fans of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (2010–). I examine the contours of brony textual and material practices, noting how productivity within the fandom plays a role in the negotiation of identity and community ethos. I also consider the implications of cuteness in the fandom and discuss how this aesthetic and its corresponding narrative have led to the development of a unique discursive mode among bronies, which I term the discourse of friendship. Drawing on Matthew Gutmann's theory of contradictory consciousness, I argue that the discourse of friendship is an innovative framework that encourages new ways of taking part in existing social institutions that destabilize hegemonic masculinity.
TWC Nos. 1 through 24 are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. For Nos. 1 through 24, TWC, not the author, retains copyright. For more information, see the Copyright Section.