Fandom

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Fandom (from the noun fan and the affix -dom, as in kingdom, freedom, etc.) is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Fans typically are interested in even minor details of the object(s) of their fandom and spend a significant portion of their time and energy involved with their interest, often as a part of a social network with particular practices (a fandom); this is what differentiates "fannish" (fandom-affiliated) fans from those with only a casual interest.

A fandom can grow up centered around any area of human interest or activity. The subject of fan interest can be narrowly defined, focused on something like an individual celebrity, or more widely defined, encompassing entire hobbies, genres or fashions. While it is now used to apply to groups of people fascinated with any subject, the term has its roots in those with an enthusiastic appreciation for sports. Merriam-Webster's dictionary traces the usage of the term back as far as 1903.[1]

Fandom as a term can also be used in a broad sense to refer to an interconnected social network of individual fandoms, many of which overlap.

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Organized subculture

A wide variety of Western modern organized fannish subcultures originated with science fiction fandom, the community of fans of the science fiction and fantasy genres. Science fiction fandom dates back to the 1930s and maintains organized clubs and associations in many cities around the world. It has held the annual World Science Fiction Convention since 1939, along with many other events each year, and has created its own jargon, sometimes called "fanspeak".[2]

Media fandom shot off from science fiction fandom in the early 1970s with a focus on relationships between characters within TV and movie media franchises.[3] There is still much overlap in fannish culture and activities between media fandom and its science fiction fandom parent; media fandom derives some of its jargon, customs and practices from its science fandom roots. Vidding fandom, the fandom related to building and watching analytic music videos based on images, emerged from media fandom in the late 1970s.

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