The Rise of Fandom


Exploring the Rise of Fandom in Contemporary Consumer Culture, A book to be edited by Cheng Lu Wang; Chapter proposal deadline 30 May 2016

Proposal Submission Deadline: May 30, 2016
Exploring the Rise of Fandom in Contemporary Consumer Culture
A book edited by Cheng Lu Wang (University of New Haven)


What is in common among iPhone, Harley Davison, Star Trek, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Elvis Presley and Paul Newman? They all have a group of loyal and ardent fans! Fandom, as a community or subculture composed of fans of particular objects or persons in any human interests or activities, such as science fiction films, books, video games, music & bands, sport teams, celebrities (athletic or movie stars), and brands, etc. Fans are typically characterized by religion-like faith, passion and worship, with strong emotional attachment and devotion to the object or person. They voluntarily invest a significant portion of their resources (time, money and energy) with particular ritualistic and evangelistic behaviors (i.e., member gathering, collection of goods, storytelling, and spreading faith to convert non-believers). From marketing perspective, a strong fandom provides a competitive advantage for a firm or a brand with a group of loyal and enthusiastic consumers in brand co-building process. For example, Apple fandom not only devotes to use the iPhone but also converts it to the “Jesus Phone” (Campbell and Pastina, 2010). While fans of the literary detective Sherlock Holmes are considered to be the first modern fandom (Brown, 2009), fandoms are now widely observed in all aspects of contemporary consumer life thanks to the fast development of Internet and social media when fan clubs become virtual communities connecting fans around world. The economic value and psychological implication of fandom phenomenon to the society and consumer culture are significant.

More information available at


Brown, Scott (2009). "Scott Brown on Sherlock Holmes, Obsessed Nerds, and Fan Fiction". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 2016-01-12.

Campbell, Heidi A. and Antonio C. La Pastina (2010). “How the iPhone Became Divine: New Media, Religion and the Intertextual Circulation of meaning,” New Media & Society, 12 (7), 1191–1207.

Other suggested readings:

Booth, Paul (2010), Digital Fandom, New York: Peter Lang.

Hellekson, Karen and Busse, Kristina (2006, eds.), Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet, Jefferson: McFarland & Company.

Jenkins, Henry (1992), Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (Studies in Culture and Communication), New York and London: Routledge.

Jonathan Gray, Cornel Sandvoss and C. Lee Harrington (2007, eds.), Fandom, New York and London: New York University Press.

Kozinets, Rorbert V. (2002). “The Field Behind the Screen: Using Netnography for Marketing Research in Online Communities,” Journal of Marketing Research, 39(1), 61-72.

Lisa A. Lewis (1992, Ed.), The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media. London: Routledge.

Mizuko Ito, Daisuke Okabe, and Izumi Tsuji (2012, eds.), Fandom Unbound: Otaku Culture in a Connected World, New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Objective of the Book

This book will aim to provide relevant theoretical framework and the latest empirical research findings in the area. The book will include a collection of articles focusing on the widely observed fandom phenomenon existing in contemporary consumer culture from multi-discipline perspective. Given the multi-discipline nature of the subject, the fandom phenomenon can be studied employing both quantitative (survey and experiment) and qualitative (in-depth interview, interpretive, ethnographic or netnographical studies). Theoretical/conceptual development, historical/state-of-the-art review, empirical studies and case studies are considered. It will be a valuable and insightful reference book to understand the characteristics fandom and the impact of fandom on any human activities, especially in brand building. In a broad sense, a brand can represent a goods, a team, an institution, an art work, and a person. Thus fans can be consumers and collectors of goods; readers of books and comics/anime; audience of music, TV shows, films, sport games and other art works; players of video games and even voters of political candidates.

Target Audience

The target audience of this book will be composed of professionals, researchers and educators working in the field of fandom and related field in various disciplines, e.g. psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, religiosity, arts and literature, sport and entertainment, consumer behavior and marketing. Moreover, the book will provide insights and support executives concerned with the management of fans or brand communities in brand co-building process.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Psychological mechanism of fandom phenomenon (e.g., perception, cognition and emotion, need and motivation, personality, value and lifestyle, etc.)
  • Antecedents and consequences of fandom
  • Sociological or anthropological background of fandom
  • Economic view or behavioral economics perspective of fandom
  • Relationship between religiosity and fandom
  • Religious characteristics in fans of secular objects
  • Fandom and political campaign
  • The impacts of fandom on economy, society and human life
  • Economic values of fans
  • Fan culture in digital age
  • Business analytics and fan research
  • Interaction between media and fandom
  • Interaction between celebrity and fandom
  • Social media and fandom
  • Ritualistic and evangelistic behavior of Fans
  • Myth and storytelling among fan communities
  • Fans in sport, music, book, comics, film, etc.
  • Fandom, brand worship and brand sacralization
  • Role of fans in brand building
  • Event marketing and fan management
  • Fan engagement and brand evangelists
  • Fandom and luxury product consumption
  • Fandom and unique consumer experience
  • Marketing implications of fandom phenomenon
  • Fans as valuable asset in measurement of brand equity
  • Dark side of fandom phenomenon

Submission Procedure

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before May 30, 2016, a chapter proposal of 1,000 to 2,000 words clearly explaining the topic and content of his or her proposed chapter, with a temporary title (and an author brief bio). A chapter is normally around 10,000 (9,000 – 11,000) words in length, including tables and references. Authors will be notified by June 30, 2016 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by November 30, 2016, and all interested authors must consult the guidelines for manuscript submissions at

prior to submission. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.

Note: There are no submission or acceptance fees for manuscripts submitted to this book publication, Exploring the Rise of Fandom in Contemporary Consumer Culture. All manuscripts are accepted based on a double-blind peer review editorial process.

To ensure the quality of the book and the publication schedule, all contributors should understand:

  1. A submission should be your original work and it should not be a work that has been published, under publication consideration or going to be published by other outlets.
  2. All submissions should strictly follow the deadlines specified above.
  3. For contributors whose native language is not English, you may have a copy editor to improve the English writing before the final submission.

All proposals should be submitted through the E-Editorial DiscoveryTM online submission manager. Please use the link provided.

Full chapters can be submitted through the following direct link.

About the Editor:

Cheng Lu Wang, Ph.D., is professor and Chairman of the Department of Marketing and Quantitative Analysis and the University Research Scholar at the University of New Haven. Dr. Wang’s research interests include consumer behavior, branding and international marketing. Dr. Wang has edited two books: 1) Brand Management in Emerging Markets: Theories and Practices (IGI Global, 2014) and 2) Contemporary Marketing in China: Theories and Practices (Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2011). Dr. Wang also served as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Consumer Research and as the special issue editor for International Marketing Review, Journal of Consumer Behavior, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Consumer Marketing and Young Consumers. Dr. Wang’s has over 50 scholarly publications appeared in Journal of Consumer Psychology, Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Consumer Affairs, Journal of Global Business, International Business Review, International Marketing Review, European Journal of Marketing, Management International Review, Journal of Business Ethics and Industrial Marketing Management, among others. His paper exploring the different mechanism between Guanxi and Western relationship marketing concept is listed among the top 10 most-cited articles published in Industrial Marketing Management. Dr. Wang can be reached at


This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), an international academic publisher of the “Information Science Reference” (formerly Idea Group Reference), “Medical Information Science Reference,” “Business Science Reference,” and “Engineering Science Reference” imprints. IGI Global specializes in publishing reference books, scholarly journals, and electronic databases featuring academic research on a variety of innovative topic areas including, but not limited to, education, social science, medicine and healthcare, business and management, information science and technology, engineering, public administration, library and information science, media and communication studies, and environmental science. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit This publication is anticipated to be released in late 2017 or early 2018.

Important Dates (please send a request to the editor if you need an extension time of submission)

  • May 30, 2016: Proposal Submission Deadline
  • June 30, 2016: Notification of Acceptance
  • November 30, 2016: Full Chapter Submission
  • January 30, 2017: Review Results Returned
  • March 30, 2017, Final Acceptance Notification
  • April 30, 2017: Final Chapter Submission (after final minor revision)

Inquiries can be forwarded to

Cheng Lu Wang
University of New Haven
Editor’s Contact Information: