Participatory democracy and Hillary Clinton's marginalized fandom

  • Abigail De Kosnik UC Berkeley
Keywords: Barack Obama, Fan community, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Politics


After the drawn-out, heated contest for the Democratic Party presidential nomination and Senator Obama's victory over Senator Clinton, a segment of Clinton's supporters are threatening to leave the party rather than fall in line behind the nominee. This essay argues that the battle between Clinton's and Obama's followers is best understood as a war between fan bases, with Obama enthusiasts constituting as the dominant fandom and Clinton voters occupying the position of marginalized fandom. Marginalized fandoms tend to blame the opposing fan base, intermediaries, and The Powers That Be for their fan campaigns' losses, and Clinton's fans are adhering to this pattern. However, the Clinton marginalized fandom's complaints can be regarded as valuable critiques that, if noted rather than dismissed, could greatly strengthen participatory democracy in the United States.

Author Biography

Abigail De Kosnik, UC Berkeley
Assistant Professor Berkeley Center for New Media and Department of Theater, Dance & Performance Studies