Review the module resources and overview, then select a popular culture fandom you find interesting. You do not have to be a member of this fandom to review it for this week’s discussion. Analyze the social message that is associated with the fandom.

In your initial post, briefly describe the fandom you selected and address the following:

  • Looking through the humanities lens, why does this example attract fans? For instance, what are the underlying themes around beliefs and values expressed by the series?
  • How does the fandom represent itself? How do fans recognize fellow members?
  • What is the latent (or unintended) social message or commentary that is reflected by this example?
  • What are the social implications of this message? Briefly discuss any potential social impact or response to the example.

In response to your peers, provide feedback about the example used and the social message that was provided. Are there other messages being represented?

Make sure you support your responses by referencing the module materials and any other scholarly resources if needed.

The articles in this module provide examples of how to critically analyze popular culture through the lens of the humanities, and how this influences our perceptions. As with the history lens, popular culture helps convey cultural messages at the time, but humanities help us better understand where we are today, and how to apply the past to the present and the present to the future.

Article: Cyborg Selves in Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Genre, Hybridity, Identity

Article: Hamburgers of Devastation: The Pleasures and Politics of Heavy Metal Cooking

Article: Exhuming the “Dismal” Reality Underneath Banal Utopian Signs: Banksy’s Recent Parody of the Disneyfication of the Modern World

Reply 1: Shasta Wofford

The fandom topic that I have chosen to analyze would be “The Good Doctor”. This fandom pushes the boundaries regarding individuals who suffer with mental health disabilities who are able to function, work, and overcome societal challenges of what is considered to be normal human behavior. Individuals who suffer from autism spectrum disorders (ASD) find it difficult to interact and communicate with others, often making it hard for them to obtain employment and establish meaningful relationships. The series creates a platform that allows normalcy to be brought to character Shaun Murphy, who suffers from autism and savant disorder.

Shaun’s character can be identified through empathy and social misconception. His character was able to defy the odds in becoming the first autistic surgeon reflecting his capabilities of finding his niche or his place in society. Many individuals who watch this series are able to understand and or relate to Shaun’s character. It’s difficult to recognize who are fans, most are recognized through the liking of hospital drama such as Grey’s Anatomy, House, and ER.

The message that this series reflects would be showing that individuals who suffer from autism are able to be functioning members of society. The series combats the various stigmas and characteristics that come with having autism disorder.” Increased knowledge about autism can help families, health practitioners, educators and others who are in frequently in contact with children better identify possible signs of the disorder at an early age leading to early intervention and a better quality of life” (Frank, 2019).

Frank, N. (2019, May 3). Debunking Myths and Misconceptions About Autism Spectrum Disorders: Awareness Matters. Retrieved from

Reply 2: Hayley Bott

Hello! Choosing one fandom to talk about was challenging because there are some good one’s out there. I ended up choosing one near and dear to my heart, Disney. Which is sort of a broad fandom as it includes so many movies. But my generation, millennials specifically, grew up watching these animated films and grew up with the belief that if you put in effort and believe in something that something wonderful can happen.

Disney is a fandom that I feel is all about imagination and doing your best despite the circumstances. Which is why I believe it attracts fans. Growing up believing that if you nourish your imagination and work for what you believe in has kindled my love for these films and for my friends as well. There is a group of my friends that absolutely still love watching the animated classics but are just as interested in how Disney is now remaking them. I think one of the more interesting remakes was Maleficent because they put a different twist on the Sleeping Beauty Disney classic by making Maleficent both the villain and the hero to show that love can chase away the darkness. And not just love for a man, but a sort of maternal love as well.

This fandom represents itself in many ways. You can recognize someone if they have a Mickey Mouse sticker on their car, one of the classics as their screen saver, if someone has something with “Disney font” on it, as well quoting any of the of movies. There are so many ways to recognize a fellow member of the Disney fandom.

I think that a latent social message that is reflected in the Disney fandom is the social mold that women use to be expected to fit into. Especially in the classic princess films. “Mirroring other aspects of American ideology, Disney’sCinderella offers the quasi-religious reassurance that hard work, clean living, self-control, and adherence to the ideal will produce the desired result, in this case, appropriate to the American Dream for Girls: rich and handsome Mr. Right (Heatwole, 2016).” I think that if we are to continue this fandom with our children it is important to explain to them that these ideals have changed and it is not up to a man to save a woman, it is their right to do so. Disney has changed their tune a bit in this regard with releasing movies like Brave and Tangled. But a lot of their fandom revolves around the classics.

Heatwole, A. (2016). Disney Girlhood: Princess Generations and Once Upon a Time. Studies in the Humanities, 43 (1/2), 1-19. Retrieved from

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