Fandom meets activism: Rethinking civic and political participation

  • Melissa M. Brough USC
  • Sangita Shresthova USC
Keywords: Affect, Civic engagement, Consumer citizenship, Content worlds, Evaluation, Fandom, Narrative, Participatory culture, Social movements


Fan activism lies at the intersection of cultural and political participation. The study of fan activism can inform our understanding of contemporary collective action more broadly. We suggest four key areas for analysis: the relationships between cultural and political participation; the tension between participation and resistance in the context of fan activism; affect and the role of content worlds in civic and political mobilization; and evaluation of the impacts of fan activism. By drawing on work across several disciplines including media studies and social movement literature, the analysis of fan activism through these lenses offers insights for theorizing contemporary cultures and modes of collective action.