COHFA | Psychology: Completed Projects

Title

The intersection of Tumblr fandoms and social justice activism

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Psychology

Minor

not declared

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Sean Rife, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

The website Tumblr.com is often used as a virtual meeting ground for individuals with similar interests, many of which center around “fandoms.” Broadly speaking, in the context of Tumblr, a fandom is a collective of devotees to a particular entertainment franchise (e.g., TV shows, movies, music). Users tend to align themselves with these groups to share information or content that they have generated personally, or that has been produced by other members of the fandom (by a process called “reblogging”).

Connelly (2015) found that feminism is a common discussion topic on Tumblr. The website has become an outlet for the expression with one's gender identity, as Tumblr is frequented by members of the transgender community (Fink & Miller, 2014), suggesting a potential intersection between fandom communities and social justice (SJ) movements. It is important to search for integration of these two concepts (social justice and fandom); in particular, the ways in which social justice norms are enforced in fandom communities, and what factors predict the endorsement of SJ causes.

Participants were recruited through snowball sampling: we posted messages targeting specific fandom and SJ communities, using a feature to tag a post with the content from these groups. The survey consisted of 100 users initially assuming relationships between SJ awareness and fandom involvement. Our results show a significant relationship between the number of hours spent on Tumblr and concerns about SJ issues, r(97)=.22, p=0.03. However, concern about SJ issues was uniform across different types of Tumblr users who simply consumed content and those who created and posted their own, Welch’s t(60.37)=.70, p=.49. Findings suggest that within fandoms, concern about SJ is a function of raw exposure to the community rather than type of involvement. Concerns about each issue were highly intercorrelated (α=.97), suggesting that concern about SJ is a unitary construct among Tumblr users.

Location

Classroom 210, Waterfield Library

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Affiliations

Psychology: Completed Projects

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Nov 18th, 1:00 PM Nov 18th, 3:30 PM

The intersection of Tumblr fandoms and social justice activism

Classroom 210, Waterfield Library

The website Tumblr.com is often used as a virtual meeting ground for individuals with similar interests, many of which center around “fandoms.” Broadly speaking, in the context of Tumblr, a fandom is a collective of devotees to a particular entertainment franchise (e.g., TV shows, movies, music). Users tend to align themselves with these groups to share information or content that they have generated personally, or that has been produced by other members of the fandom (by a process called “reblogging”).

Connelly (2015) found that feminism is a common discussion topic on Tumblr. The website has become an outlet for the expression with one's gender identity, as Tumblr is frequented by members of the transgender community (Fink & Miller, 2014), suggesting a potential intersection between fandom communities and social justice (SJ) movements. It is important to search for integration of these two concepts (social justice and fandom); in particular, the ways in which social justice norms are enforced in fandom communities, and what factors predict the endorsement of SJ causes.

Participants were recruited through snowball sampling: we posted messages targeting specific fandom and SJ communities, using a feature to tag a post with the content from these groups. The survey consisted of 100 users initially assuming relationships between SJ awareness and fandom involvement. Our results show a significant relationship between the number of hours spent on Tumblr and concerns about SJ issues, r(97)=.22, p=0.03. However, concern about SJ issues was uniform across different types of Tumblr users who simply consumed content and those who created and posted their own, Welch’s t(60.37)=.70, p=.49. Findings suggest that within fandoms, concern about SJ is a function of raw exposure to the community rather than type of involvement. Concerns about each issue were highly intercorrelated (α=.97), suggesting that concern about SJ is a unitary construct among Tumblr users.