Fan Activism and Community Psychology

drawn picture of two boys kissing

submitted by Jennifer Fletcher

As the area of community psychology expands so does the need for different areas of research and interest in the field. Fan activism is a new area of interest that looks at how organized communities of fans come together to take action in promoting diversity, education and other focal community psychology topics. Fan activism is defined as groups of fans fighting to see a change in the world using their popular culture topic (Brough & Shresthova, 2012). These groups of fans are known as fandoms (Hellekson, 2018) and have been found to be socially and politically active (Brough & Shresthova, 2012). The largest fan activism movements are the Harry Potter Alliance, which focuses on promoting education and equality through the stories of Harry Potter (, 2015) and The Racebending Movement which was formed over the live action The Last Airbender movie when the producers white-washed the cast. The group continues to push for diversity in Hollywood movies (, 2019). Nerdfighters is another group that is fighting against inequality while taking action for diversity (, 2019).

These fan activist groups are only a few of the organizations that use fandoms to create political engagement, promote activism, and bring awareness to social justice issues. The mission statement of SCRA is about promoting research and social action while empowering communities and their members (, 2019). The goals of fan activism align with community psychology goals and SCRA’s mission statement. Fan activism is a new area of research that should be studied through the community psychology lens as it can help further the mission of community psychology itself.

Brough, M. M., & Shresthova, S. (2012). Fandom meets activism: Rethinking civic and political participation. Transformative Works and Cultures, 10. doi: 10.3983/twc.2012.0303.

Hellekson, K. (2018). The fan experience. In P. Booth (Eds), A Companion to Media Fandom
and Fan Studies (pp. 65-77). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Racebending Movement. (2019). Retrieved August 5, 2019, from

The Harry Potter Alliance. (2015). Retrieved November 7, 2018, from

The Nerdfighters. (2019). Retrieved August 5, 2019, from

Written by Jennifer Fletcher; Edited by Susan M. Wolfe

Please feel free to email Jennifer Fletcher at regarding this new topic idea for community psychology research


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