Fandom is a way of consuming popular culture. Scholars describe fandom as involving ongoing, intense interest and emotional investment in a specific popular culture text or texts. Fandom also involves participation in communities built around shared interest. These interpretive communities (called “fandoms”) come together to discuss, share, and create media related to the original text (called “canon”). Fans are active media consumers, always questioning, researching, discussing, and extending narratives.

Once a practice of marginalized groups, in recent years, fandom has become increasingly mainstream, particularly for youth. Its emphasis on community, production, and shared reading make fandom a valuable site for out-of-school learning linked to literacy, identity development, and connected learning. As more young people participate in fandom, and as fanlike (or “fannish”) ways of interacting with ...

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