Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Ferris, Kerry O.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


Sociology; Social structure


This thesis examines the function of shared performances of enthusiasm within the North American anime fandom beyond simple shared interests. Specifically, it analyzes how these performances foster the creation, solidification, and dismissal of complex social cohesion within the greater fandom. The researcher made use of in-depth interviews at both an anime convention and university anime club, with an additional observation period of the club to supplement the primary method. It was found that fans experience and perform enthusiasm displays in three primary ways, each with its own properties. These expressions of enthusiasm represent social cohesion beyond incidental grouping based on mere shared interests. The researcher hopes that further studies on fandom could focus more upon why fans work themselves into these groupings, and hopes that this project may facilitate such research.


Advisors: Kerry O. Ferris.||Committee members: Diane Rodgers; Carol Walther.||Includes bibliographical references.


49 pages




Northern Illinois University

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