Given the assignment requirement to research a discourse community, I began searching for communities that seemed interesting. While I was searching communities such as truck drivers, competitive video game players, and olympic gymnasts. However, as I continued researching various communities, I began considering the expansive Harry Potter Fandom.
I chose this community because while I consider myself part of this fandom, there is more to the fandom that I did not know until I began to research. As a result of my preexisting knowledge about Harry Potter, I did a rough draft of the fandom’s purpose and various genres used to express their purpose; however, I then went back and researched the Harry Potter book and movie series.
The purpose I began with when researching the Harry Potter remained consistent throughout my research: the fandom’s purpose is to express their admiration towards the franchise.
The list of genres I began with before doing research included the movie and book series, interviews with JK Rowling, book signings and releases.
and fan fiction. Through research, I established that there were in fact many genres I had forgotten. For example, the Harry Potter fandom connects and spreads their purpose through Harry Potter forums, creating and soliciting fan art, engaging in role-playing games, touring sites specific to the book and/or movie series and fan conventions. By connecting to fellow Harry Potter fans, the fandom can reinforce their love for the franchise.
Another genre that the Harry Potter fandom utilizes is that of fashion merchandise; the franchise’s merchandise is so well recognized that the fandom only needs to wear the merchandise and every that sees the individual wearing it recognizes that they are apart of the Harry Potter fandom, even if the viewer is not.
The Harry Potter fandom has become such a strong support system of the franchise that even people who are not within the fandom will recognize certain references and their merchandise.
The research I did on the Harry Potter fandom is a result of a search through internet search engines, mainly Google. Rather than searching through articles that relate to the franchise within the library, I chose to conduct my research entirely on the internet. Since a majority of the genres utilized by the fandom are through the internet, my research remained fairly simple. Even within the fandom, however, there are such drastic differences in opinion and what the main focus is, besides advocating for their enjoyment of the series. Consequently, the fandom’s genres advocate for the author’s personal preference for their favorite characters, lines, books, and movies within the franchise.
However, after the conference on Tuesday evening, I decided to focus on the discourse community of those who are interested in Harry Potter Slash Fiction; especially those encouraging the pairing of Harry Potter and Professor Severus Snape. As a result, I searched for various websites which focused around the process of pairing together various Harry Potter characters. Furthermore, the process I began working through led to dissecting layers of the pairings and the fans of each pairing. Throughout my research of the various pairings, the pairing with the largest following is that of Harry Potter and Professor Severus Snape, hence the reason I chose to investigate that particular pairing.
The most revealing website that detailed the Snarry pairing was Fanlore.com a wikipedia-style website that details the relationships within various pieces of fiction. The Snarry pairing has had a following since the series was first published; however, the Snarry slash fiction produced largely ages Harry to encourage the idea that the pairing is either legal or almost legal despite the immoral implications of a student and professor relationship. Moreover, a majority of the slash fiction created in relevance to the pairing is assumed to be non-consensual due to the age of Harry in the beginning of the series.
During my research regarding the Snarry pairing I visited multiple websites that specialize in soliciting fan fiction for a variety of fictions. As a result, I compared the various types of fanfiction and the popularity and realized that the Harry Potter fandom has the largest following out of any young adult series in addition to having the most slash fiction produced.