Editorial: Fandom and Controversy

Rebecca Williams, Lucy Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


In 2005, American Behavioral Scientist published a special issue on fandom, which contained work that continues to resonate and influence the study of fans and their practices today. The new collection of articles offered here presents a follow-up to that foundational issue. It contains perspectives on fan cultures which respond to the changes that have happened in the over-fifteen years since the 2005 issue, and acknowledges the complex cultural, social, and political landscape that we currently occupy. For instance, there have been developments in digital and social media platforms including the rise and, in some cases, decline of sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr alongside emerging platforms such as TikTok. This shifting digital landscape continues to impact upon fans’ communication, creativity, knowledge, and organizational and civic power (Bennett, 2014). This new issue of American Behavioral Scientist showcases voices from both established and emerging scholars, offering work that addresses these key concerns from a range of perspectives. Its focus is on the relationship between fandom and moments of fissure or controversy, and it also pays attention to how this intersects with the increasingly prevalent role of celebrity in contemporary society and the current political and cultural moment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1043
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number8
Early online date14 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2022


  • fandom
  • participatory cultures
  • fan studies
  • political engagement
  • celebrity
  • fan controversies


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