The fandomization of political figures

  • Sabrina McMillin Grey Horse Communications
Keywords: Civic engagement, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Jane Jacobs, Online communities, Politics, Social media


This article examines the application of traditional fandom characteristics to political and historical figures using two case studies: the Notorious R. B. G. fandom surrounding Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an urbanist meme community on Facebook that pays homage to mid-twentieth-century journalist and activist Jane Jacobs. These case studies illustrate how these two figures are turned into icons. Such fandomization can inspire enhanced civic education, strong political coalitions, and activism if the icons are viewed with nuance and paired with concrete action and study.