Experiencing fan activism: Understanding the power of fan activist organizations through members' narratives
Keywords:Activism, Civic engagement, Fandom, Harry Potter, Invisible Children, Kony 2012, Politics, Youth
Fan activism, forms of civic engagement and political participation growing out of experiences of fandom, is a powerful mode of mobilization, particularly for young people. Building on 40 interviews with members of two organizations representing different configurations of fan activism, this article discusses three emerging elements that are key to the experience of membership in such groups. We suggest that the strength of fan activist groups builds on successfully combining these elements: two that are common to fandom, shared media experiences and a sense of community, and one that is traditionally ascribed to volunteerism and activism, the wish to help.
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