Ashley HinckOct 22, 2021
Politics for the Love of Fandom
Fan-Based Citizenship in a Digital World
LSU Press 2019
Politics for the Love of Fandom: Fan-Based Citizenship in a Digital World (Louisiana State Press, 2019) examines what Ashley Hinck calls “fan-based citizenship”: civic action that blends with and arises from participation in fandom and commitment to a fan-object. Examining cases like Harry Potter fans fighting for fair trade, YouTube fans donating money to charity, and football fans volunteering to mentor local youth, Hinck argues that fan-based citizenship has created new civic practices wherein popular culture may play as large a role in generating social action as traditional political institutions such as the Democratic Party or the Catholic Church.
Hinck considers the ways in which fan-based social engagement arises organically, from fan communities seeking to change their world as a group, as well as the methods creators use to leverage their fans to take social action. The modern shift to networked, fluid communities, Hinck argues, opens up opportunities for public participation that occurs outside of political parties, houses of worship, and organizations for social action.
Politics for the Love of Fandom shows how fan-based citizenship performances help us understand the future possibilities of public engagement, as fans and creators alike tie the ethical frameworks of fan-objects to desired social goal, such as volunteering for political candidates, mentoring at-risk youth, and promoting environmentally friendly policy.
Dr. Ashley Hinck (she/her) is Assistant Professor of Communication at Xavier University specializing in digital media, fandom, citizenship, social activism, rhetoric.
Dr. Lee M. Pierce (they/them) is a rhetoric scholar and speech critic at SUNY Geneseo and host/ess of for New Books Network channels in Language and Media & Communications.