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Call to arms!

My study will have two parts. The first of which is a survey, which takes most people ten minutes or less to complete.

Click here to take the survey. I am looking specifically for participants who are in fandom and who are over 18 (because of laws, not because I think fans under 18 don't have something worthwhile to say).

The second part of the study will be a series of online interviews. Just fill out the survey and the last question will ask you to leave contact information. Once I'm ready to start the interviewing process (no earlier than October 26th) I'll contact the selected participants to confirm if they're still interested and discuss the details.

Help a scholar out?


The biggest challenge for me, according to everyone, is going to be getting responses from people. I want to prove them wrong.

How can you help? Aside from taking the survey and possibly volunteering for the interviews, you can spread the word. I am not capable of contacting all of fandom by myself, I have to rely on people like you to help. Don't feel limited to just LJ and Dw either, I'd love to get news about this out to Tumblr, mailing lists, message boards...wherever fandom congregates, I'd love to reach them!

Thank you for your help!


Survey is Now Closed

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
liadan_m
Oct. 11th, 2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
If you can edit the survey, one of the things I'd like to see done with the data is some demographic research: age, sex/gender, career type. I know that some of my answers were influenced by training rather than inclination, and that's a job function.
fandom_academic
Oct. 12th, 2012 01:13 am (UTC)
I would have loved to get into a more complex study that also looks at more demographic data, but my adviser thought it would be better to keep this initial study relatively simple in terms of the variables. Doing another study where I look at the influences of other demographic data is something I'm hoping I'll be able to propose based on the results of this study.
alicebentley
Oct. 15th, 2012 12:05 pm (UTC)
I filled out your survey. Rather than the somewhat intimidating half hour of time that I thought might be needed, I was finished in less than ten minutes.

Best wishes for getting a lot of participants!
fandom_academic
Oct. 15th, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for letting me know! I tend to be a bit paranoid about time commitments, so I always guess long. I didn't think I was going quite that long though...

And thanks again!
dichroic
Oct. 15th, 2012 12:23 pm (UTC)
How do you define "in fandom"? Readers of SF? Congoers? Writers / readers of fics? People who belong to communities geared toward discussion of a particular TV show / book? Anyone who knows the meaning of phrases like "ship" and OTP"?

(I'm here via sartorias; not trying to be problematic, just figuring out if I'm in your target demograph and should fill out the survey.)
fandom_academic
Oct. 15th, 2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
I'm largely looking for self-defined fans. Anyone who considers themself part of fandom. I realize that's a very fast and loose definition from a scientific perspective, but it's an important aspect of the study.

Thank you for your question.
boosette
Oct. 15th, 2012 01:21 pm (UTC)
Just a thought -- if you decide to do a more in-depth demographic study later in your academic future, you might want to use a "chromosomal sex" with radio buttons or a drop down, and "gender" as a fill-in-able text field, with either or both of the questions being skippable, which might be more comfortable some of your subjects.
fandom_academic
Oct. 15th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
I will definitely keep that in mind. Thank you!
saricchiella
Oct. 15th, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to say that I filled up the form in less than 10 minutes (thinking about it and all) :)
fandom_academic
Oct. 15th, 2012 08:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks! With your help, I've updated the post to show a more accurate reflection of time expectations.
3rdragon
Oct. 15th, 2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
I realized something while filling out your survey.

I've heard people say things to the effect of, "On the internet, I can present myself as whoever I want to be," or something like that. With a performative sense of acting a role, or knowing how to be a "cool kid" on the internet.

It's true that my online personae can be . . . faceted. But they are all me, the me I am with intimate friends, in a way that is not as consistent offline.

Aha. I do not care what people on the internet think of me. Not in a way that they aren't people because they're on the internet, but because the internet is so big that if we don't like each other, we never have to interact again. I will have to continue interacting with the strangers in real life, only some of whom will ever cross the barrier to become friends, and with whom there will be a great deal of work and social signals and figuring out common interests before that ever happens. On the internet, there is much less effort-per-person; I type this, and if you like it, perhaps your orbits will drift closer to mine and we will become friends simply by doing the things we would have done on the internet anyway. If you don't, I'll be another statistical dot and you won't even remember me by next week.

There's a freedom in a blank text box, somehow. Or maybe it's the pre-establishment of some sort of common interest, or the pre-existence of a topic of conversation worth talking about.

It's happening already, see? You asked a question, and I answered. I wouldn't say any of this to a stranger on the bus. But that wouldn't even come up, because the stranger on the bus wouldn't know that I am a person to whom it might be worth posing the question.

Perhaps what I'm saying is that online, I am a distilled version of myself, presenting only the identifiers that are relevant to the current situation. The identifying characteristics one presents in real life are very different, and it's more difficult to present the ones that really feel important.
fandom_academic
Oct. 15th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you for taking the time to write this out, as well as responding to the survey. I appreciate your thoughts. =)
onebrightroad
Oct. 15th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
I found this survey to be utterly irrelevant to my lived experience of fandom, online or off. I'm a fan because I am drawn to the stories and characters, culture and worldbuilding of a particular fictional work or genre, not because I seek social approval or want to get people to like me. It's not about me, FFS. I've made friends in fandom because of shared appreciation for the source material or genre, respect for each other's insights and ideas regarding same, and often because we appreciate each others' fanworks based on that material. I'm not twelve anymore, and I don't care about impressing anyone or getting people to like me, hang out with me, attract the attention of BNFs, or otherwise seeking personal approval through fandom or any other activity. I'd still be a fan and do my fannish things if no one shared my geeky love. I'm grateful that I've found many wonderful, intelligent, generous, creative, and fun people through fandom (including at least two long-term romantic partners), but that's not what it's about for me.
fandom_academic
Oct. 15th, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC)
Which is totally fair and valid, and a perspective that I'm glad is going to be included in the survey. Thank you.
subluxate
Oct. 15th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
It took me less than five minutes, if you're still asking.
mercwriter
Oct. 17th, 2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
I took the survey. I'm very curious to read about the results later!
liviconnor
Oct. 21st, 2012 12:49 pm (UTC)
I've just finished the quiz, and for many answers I didn't know what to choose- I've never actually tried to make someone like me online. It's the fandom! Everyone in my fandoms has been friendly! Similarly, if someone in face-space authority doesn't like me, I just smile and keep my distance. I don't put on a performance to make people like me- I act in a professional way (put on a performance) to avoid conflict. Though finding out that my office was full of Trekkies ended that. One guy had written Sweet Valley High fanfic in high school, though he said it had been a joke. (That's how it starts, man, just how it starts...)
Best. Office. Ever.
And most people just sorta like me, at least until I come out with the pagan/queer/fandom/weird hobbies. That helps.
I guess my point was, the goal is less than 'liking,' it's 'getting by.'

Edited at 2012-10-21 12:49 pm (UTC)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )