For the next round of posts, I’m going to focus on some of the ways fans described themselves in 2008. In order to get a sense of who was participating in the 2008 Fan Fiction survey, the participants were asked for some general demographic information. At the time, I wanted to get a sense of the mix of fans taking the survey. Now, I’d love to know what you make of this data.
First, in 2008 the participants skewed younger. The survey was only open to participants 18 or older, but the vast majority of survey participants were under thirty years of age. These numbers may also imply that there is significant participation in fan culture from individuals younger than 18. However, since younger fans were excluded from participating, these fans and their reading practices are not represented by the 2008 survey results.
What do you make of these numbers and the ranges of ages represented? Is there anything else you think we should pay attention to here?
Also, how much does this match with your experience of fans and fandoms today? Do you think most fans are 30 and under or have things changed?
Share your ideas by replying to this post or by posting comments on the Fandom Then/Now website.
The next area of the project I’d like to talk about are the participant demographics. This section of the project can be found here: The Participants.
To be honest, I’m ambivalent about the use of participant demographics in fan research. I’m not sure how helpful they are. What do you think? Do you think demographics are useful? What do you want people to think about when they’re looking at demographic data on fans? What advice would you give them?
only those for whom a sexual fantasy ‘works,’ that is, those who are aroused by it, have a chance of telling us to what particular set of conditions that fantasy speaks, and can analyze how and why it works and for whom. Sexual fantasy materials are like icebergs; the one-tenth that shows about the surface is no reliable indicator of the size or significance of the whole thing. Sexual fantasy that doesn’t arouse is boring, funny, or repellent, and unsympathetic outsiders trying to decode these fantasies (or any others) will make all sorts of mistakes.
Joanna Russ, “Pornography By Women For Women, With Love,” 89
What excites in fantasy is both far more exaggerated than real life and not the same as in real life; that is, fantasy isn’t just a vicarious substitute for real experience; its meaning as experience becomes changed when it’s made into fantasy.
Joanna Russ, “Pornography By Women For Women, With Love,” 88
when the speaker suddenly says something relevant to… when the speaker suddenly says something relevant to my research phdstudents: from Tumblr via IFTTT from Tumblr via IFTTT…
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…to the Love Between the Covers sneak preview and Popular Romance Project conference at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., 2/10-2/11!
For more information, check out our events calendar.
If you’re in the DC area, you should be going to this. :)
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Not only will I stare. I want my look to change reality.
Sending this out to all everyone working on final papers, final projects, and final papers right now… (HAIM DANCE PARTY!!!)