Talking about Fandom: Definition

Out of nowhere, I want to talk about fandom.

According to Wikipedia, fandom is a term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Note the keywords: fan, empathy, camaraderie, and common interest.

We all know what fan means. Oxford dictionary defines fan as a person who has a strong interest in or admiration for a particular person or thing. I myself am a fan of Harry Potter, My Chemical Romance, etc. More on this later.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It’s different from sympathy. Sympathy means feeling of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune. However, I was a bit confused with the second definition of sympathy. It is said that sympathy means understanding between people; common feeling. I then remember a lecturer said, “With your patient, you have to show empathy but you aren’t allowed to show sympathy. You should understand their feeling but you can’t, for example, hug them or cry with them.”

In fandom, we can still find different opinions but, with that definition from Wikipedia, a fan is supposed to understand the feeling of other fans.

Camaraderie means mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together. I’m surprised. I myself understand that we can find friends in fandom but I’m not sure with mutual trust. Is it just me?

I feel the camaraderie with my close friends. However, in the topic of fandom, camaraderie is strong with Lady Slytherin. We both like Harry Potter and discuss about it almost everyday.

Common interest is common interest. I don’t even need to explain it, do I? 

To be continued …


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