Variations of the Sacred in Pop Culture Fandoms: A Survey of Comic-Con Conventioneers
While there is a long-standing literature about fan behavior that has described it in various ways – as psychologically dysfunctional, the result of cultural or corporate manipulation, a form of cultural agency and rebellion, or a modern quest for personal identity and community – there is little systematic information about different fan beliefs and practices. To this end, I have designed a survey to be administered at comic book conventions in the United States, commonly known as Comic Cons. These particular conventions have expanded dramatically in the last decade and are attended by a variety of fans engaged in a variety of activities, such as costume play (or cos-play), celebrity panels and autographs, merchandise collecting, games, and job interviews. Therefore, these particular conventions are an ideal environment to survey fan beliefs and practices, and to test central Durkheimian claims about religion.