Date of Award
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Media, Film, and Journalism Studies
Erika Polson, Ph.D.
Fan studies, New media, Participatory culture, Platform, Social network sites, Tumblr
This thesis involves examining the influence of feminism, platform and community on the fandom of Sarah J Maas (SJM) novels on the social network site Tumblr. The goals are to show how a shift to an open social network site has changed the practice of fandom and how various feminisms are applied to popular culture and learned through Tumblr. An ethnographic study and textual analysis on SJM fandom posts and interactions on Tumblr were utilized in order to reach these goals. The observations and analysis examines the data in three categories: the established characteristics of fandom on Tumblr, the characteristics of Tumblr, and the characteristics of the SJM fandom on Tumblr. The analysis suggests Tumblr fandom culture, of which popular feminism is a vital aspect, dictates how fans behave and interact. The fandom struggles to fill the gap created by a lack of clear authority figures, which leads to fans asserting their own authority through policing behaviors, shame and the validating of identity. Both the architectural structure of and the social roles on Tumblr lessen the boundaries of the fandom community, change interactions and build tension in fandom because it forces it to be public to endless potential audiences. The platform is as influential to the fans as the novels of Sarah J Maas are; the fandom is linked to the platform.
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Received from ProQuest
Leiser, Sarah, "Throne of Fans: Examining the Roles of Feminism, Platform and Community in an Online Fandom" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1448.