“It’s not a phase, Mom!!!". Om identitetsskapande inom fankultur
In this essay, we examine what it means to be a fan. We look at the way different products and discourses create identity within both fan culture and fandoms. We have chosen to focus on three famous fandoms among youth culture - Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and The Twilight Saga. The examination is done by using Henry Jenkins’ theory of convergence and participatory culture, as well as Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of capital, field and habitus. Our methods are primarily semiotic image analysis and netnography. The images we analyze are taken from popular fandom-used platforms, for example Tumblr and Pinterest, but also from our own collections. Being part of fan culture ourselves, we also use Bourdieu’s theory to examine ourselves and our identity through fan culture. Our study indicates that different products, debates and discourses within and between fandoms indeed do play a part in some fans’ lives - with both positive and negative impact. We argue that participatory culture can be use both to include and exclude fans, depending on their capital and identity. In conclusion, we mean that products marketed, and discourses upheld in fan culture and fandoms need to be examined, in order to understand our society and ourselves.