The 6 Cs of Fanworks - Tara

Fanworks: PYD a Yellow Brick Road
The 6 Cs of Fanworks and Their Effects on Positive Youth Development
Tara M. Popp
Michigan State University
Spring 2014
Presentation Outline
Part I: The Net Generation Framework
Part II: Understanding Fandom and Fanworks
Part III: The 6 Cs of Fanworks
• To introduce and define Net Generation and
their mindset.
• To identify and differentiate fandom and
• To show how fanworks affect youth
development through my version of the 6 Cs.
Part I: The Net Generation
Who Are the Net Generation?
• Tapscott (2009) considers Net Generation or
Net Gen as individuals born between January
1977 and December 1997.
• Individuals born between January 1998 to
present are known as Generation Next or
Generation Z (Tapscott, 2009).
Net Generation: Computer & Internet Usage Statistics
• By 2009, youth’s computer usage outside of
schoolwork increased to 90 minutes daily on
average (Rideout, Foehr, & Roberts, 2010).
• According to Lenhart (2014), 95% of teens use
the Internet and 93% of teens have a
computer or have access to one.
Net Generation: Active versus Passive Media Consumption
• According to Tapscott
(2009), Net Generation view
and consume media
actively, usually on multiple
• Those from the older
generation, who grew up
with television, tend to be
passive with their media
The Eight Net Generation Norms
• #1: Net Gens value freedom in
everything they do.
• #2: Net Gens love to customize and
• #3: Net Gens will scrutinize products
they use.
• #4: Net Gens seek corporate
integrity and openness about their
(Tapscott, 2009)
The Eight Net Generation Norms (cont.)
• #5: Net Gens want to combine entertainment and
play in their life.
• #6: Net Gens are all about collaboration and
• #7: Net Gens love speed in what they do.
• #8: Lastly, Net Gens are innovators.
(Tapscott, 2009)
Part II: Understanding
Fandom and Fanworks
Fandom versus Fanworks
• Fandom is a “community” where like-minded
fans gather offline or online based on an
existing source (Warburton, 2010).
• Within fandoms, fans participate in creating
fanworks, works created based on the fandom
(Thomas, 2011).
Fanwork Types
Fanfiction or fanfics
Fanvideos or fanvids
Fansites or fanshrines
Miscellaneous fanworks
(Fanlore, 2013)
History of Fanworks
• One of the earliest examples of
fanworks occurred in the 1800s by the
Brontë (British Library, 2011).
• In the 1930s, fanzines began to appear,
and fanworks existed in science fiction
magazines (Coppa, 2006; Thomas,
2011; Warburton, 2010).
(The Brontë siblings)
• In the 1960s and 1970s, Star Trek fans
began to create slash fanworks (Coppa,
2006; Tosenberger, 2008b; Warburton,
History of Fanworks (cont.)
• Until the Internet, fanzines were the main method of
fanwork sharing (Verba, 2003).
• In the 1990s, fans shared their works on usenet
groups (Coppa, 2006; Thomas, 2011; Warburton,
• Fans used mailing lists to share fanworks
before transitioning to social media websites
(Warburton, 2010).
The Fans Behind the Fanworks
According to Warburton (2010):
• Fans come from all over the world.
• 90% of fanfiction writers are women.
• The ages of fans range from those in their teens to
those over 50 years.
• Many of the women discovered fanfictions and other
fanworks in their teens.
Part III: The 6 Cs of
Promoting Fanworks in Positive Youth Development
The proposed 6 Cs of Fanworks are:
• Cognitivity
• Communication
• Community
• Contribution
• Character
• Cheer
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Cognitivity
• Fanworks promote the idea of Piaget’s theory of
cognitive development (Inhelder & Piaget, 1958;
Piaget, 1972).
• Fanworks encourage youth to think abstractly.
Examples include:
– Questioning the meaning behind a work and thinking of
alternate scenes.
– Bringing characters to life in cosplaying.
– Combining different mediums together.
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Cognitivity (cont.)
• Fanworks allow youth to think creatively. Schaffner (2009)
describes fanworks as creative form of criticisms.
• “Good” creativity is both multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary in
nature, and fanworks transcend both (Dena, 2009; Henriksen, 2011;
Root-Bernstein & Root-Bernstein, 2009).
• The different mediums (multimodality) of fanworks provide fans
plenty of opportunities to express their creativity (Black, 2009;
Chandler-Olcott & Mahar, 2003; Fukunaga, 2006).
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Cognitivity (cont.)
Along with different output, fans gain new knowledge and skills
through their exposure to fanworks (Black, 2009; Fukunaga,
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Communication
• In order to share their love for a particular
fandom, fans communicate with each other.
• Communication between fans occurs:
– Offline
– Online
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Communication (cont.)
• In reference to cognitivity, many fans not only
learn new skills and knowledge in fandom, but
they use fandom to learn new languages.
• Fans learn languages related to website
creation (Dachis, 2011).
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Community
• Fans unite to form a community (fandom) and
fans come from all over world (Taylor, 2011;
Warburton, 2010).
• Because of the diverse nature of fandoms and
fans, subcultures exist in fandom, and rules
and terminology differ in fandoms, which
gives fandom a collectivist feel (Thomas,
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Community (cont.)
• Despite the fandom rules, fans ensure that
fandom is a safe place for them to form
relationships, create fanworks together, and
help in non-fandom-related issues
(Tosenberger, 2008a; Warburton, 2010).
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Contribution
• Contributing in a fandom is also known as
participatory culture (Jenkins, 2006).
• Fans contribute to fandom by:
– Creating fanworks for pleasure and for a
good cause
– Providing feedback to the creators
– Operating websites
– Being a beta (see next slide)
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Contribution (cont.)
• A beta is an individual who
volunteers to help the creator
with their fanworks
(Karpovich, 2006; Warburton,
• The relationship between the
creator and their beta can be
based on friendship or on a
mentor-mentee relationship
(Warburton, 2010).
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Character
• Fans are encouraged to find themselves and
to promote their own individualism (Black
2009; Tosenberger, 2008a; Warburton, 2010).
• Black (2009) discovered that fans bring their
own culture into their works and share it with
other fandom members.
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Character (cont.)
• Tosenberger (2008a) and Warburton (2010)
state that fandom allows teenage fans to
explore their sexuality.
• Fanworks also encourage young people to
develop certain traits and attributes that allow
them to become better individuals
(Warburton 2010).
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Cheer
As tools, fanworks affect an
individual’s development,
but most importantly
fanworks and fandom are
meant to be fun (Thomas,
The 6 Cs of Fanworks: Cheer (cont.)
• Fanworks are a effective
tools that promote
positive youth
• Parents, educators, and
youth professionals are
instrumental in
encouraging youth to
engage in fanworks for
their benefits.
Tara’s Experience
Jenki says: “My life progressed
because of me being a fan”
(personal communication,
March 5, 2014).
• My parents for their constant love and support!
• My work managers and colleagues for their support and
• Dr. Hoisington and my three musketeers for their feedback
and help this semester!
• My online and offline friends – Mwname, Jenki, KMJ, Thilia,
Penguin, LLBB, Euterpe, Cat M., Alia, BunnyUnnie – were great
• Mr. Norris, Dr. Vorhees, Ms. Claudette, and Mrs. Lee for their
recommendation to this programme!
• Mrs. Lee, my beloved band teacher, allowed me to use her
room to do my schoolwork, and who introduced me to
students who helped me with my assignments. In fact, I’d like
to dedicate this presentation to her! 
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