Articles on Fandom

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Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry flexes during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers. USA Today Sports/Reuters

Why sports fans need villains

Many decry 'superteams' like the NBA's Golden State Warriors as bad for the sport. But psychology research shows that they also make us more likely to watch – and bask in the joy of seeing them fail.
Fanfiction: all it takes is to imagine a story beyond the canonical work. Kristina Alexanderson/flickr

Explainer: what is fanfiction?

Fanfiction is nebulous, confusing and often mocked. It's also explosively popular. So what is it?
Hawthorn is among the AFL clubs with the best years in the competition to premierships won ratio. AAP/Joe Castro

The glory or the ‘gravel’: what keeps fans flocking to the AFL?

Being a footy fan is not mainly about the glory of a premiership – it is much more about enjoying the gravel-shovelling entailed in each and every season your club goes without success.
The process by which women become fans is more complicated and interesting than people previously imagined. AAP Image/Joe Castro

Sexually transmitted fandom? Why women really follow AFL

Men might believe that women don't have what it takes to be serious sports fans but new research into female AFL fans proves them wrong. Some women are footy converts, some have it in the blood – and some were born to it.
Star Trek fans were especially drawn to Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock – who showed many that it “was okay to be a nerd, that even in the future not everyone fit in, or needed to.” Sam Howzit/Flickr

One of the family: Leonard Nimoy’s impact on fandom

Star Trek fans were especially drawn to Leonard Nimoy's Mr. Spock – who showed many that it "was okay to be a nerd, that even in the future not everyone fit in, or needed to."
Some criticism of Fifty Shades reveals a disdainful attitude toward fans of the franchise. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick - © Universal Pictures

The ‘mommy porn’ myth: who are the Fifty Shades of Grey fans?

With the release of Fifty Shades of Grey in cinemas this week, serious questions have been raised about whether the film depicts abuse – including on The Conversation. Some feminist groups have staged…
First in line Jason Ray (left) and Moon Ray (right) line up outside the Apple Store in New York, ready for the launch of Apple’s iPhone 6. EPA/John Taggart

All kneel at the temple of Apple’s latest technology

Just as with all the earlier versions of the iPhone, rumours abound about what Apple will announce this week in relation to iPhone 6 – new screens, different sizes, powerful chips, faster processing and…
Radamel Falcao joins Manchester United on loan in one of deadline day’s big deals. Sebastien Nogier/EPA

Time to lift the shroud of secrecy surrounding football transfers

Transfer deadline day is over for another year. As always, it brought drama galore, with deals thrown together at the last minute, like the “shock” announcement three hours before the deadline that Danny…
Sport is often compared with religion in Australia. But how do fans’ relationships with their football teams manifest? AAP/Joe Castro

More than a game: how attached are we to our teams?

At some point, you’ve no doubt heard someone say “football is my religion”. And if we follow French sociologist Emile Durkheim’s famous building blocks for religion, we will find that football is not far…

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