February 12, 2013

The power of pop culture

Can online fandoms drive civic participation?

Image via Flickr user alanosaur. [Creative Commons]

Can online fandom make the world a better place? From addicts of Harry Potter to My Little Pony enthusiasts, fan subcultures of all types are banding together and finding new force and creative outlets via the internet. But are our pop culture obsessions driving people further from reality, or can fan communities actually mobilise for social good?

In this episode of The Stream, we speak to:

Francesca Coppa, @fcoppa
Dick Wolf Professor of TV Studies, University of Pennsylvania

Andrew Slack, @andrewslack
Executive Director, The Harry Potter Alliance

Mike Bernstein, @FinalDraftEFN
Founder and editor, Everfree Network

Neil Perryman, @neilperryman
Founder and writer, Adventures with the Wife in Space

Mouna Toure, @artie_drawings
Cosplayer, artist, and blogger

What do you think?Is fandom a medium for social action or social isolation? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.