It’s been a while since we’ve updated, but we’ve had a lot of pretty cool things going on that we’re really excited about and we’ve finally been able to start ourselves back up on a regular research/updating schedule again, which is also exciting for both of us. We’re planning to make regular weekly posts and updates on (/around) Mondays and include other posts as we get them. I figured that I’d go ahead and use this post to announce what’s been going on while we’ve been off the radar
Continue reading General Updates and OSU/IU Paper Link
Joshua A. Reyna is a 1st year sociology Master’s student at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He received his undergraduate degree in sociology with a minor in women’s studies, and his research interests include culture, death, theory, criminology, and deviance. He became interested in bronies during the early 4chan days but has only recently had a chance to look into the fandom. He began his field study on bronies this year during his maymester class, “Special Topics: Pierre Bourdieu,” which revitalized his interest in the fandom.
Jason [JRN]: Can you briefly describe what you have been working on in your brony research?
Joshua [JAR]: I am currently working on the habitus, or in other words the habits of the bronies. How they are formed, when are they used, and why they are important. I have found that by watching and partaking in the fandom of My Little Pony the bronies have made an entirely new habitus that rejects the usual male habitus (showing no emotion, being rough and tough) for one that embraces love, affection, and friendship. That is what fascinates me, and how they combat the negativity produced by the media and close minded people. Note the next part of my research might cause a little bit of anger in the group. While studying the habitus, I noticed that there were in turn fields or (areas of struggle for resources) in the fandom. Now I understand the weight of what I am saying but from general observations there does seem to be a struggle. I have generated at least 6 economic, prestige, cultural, artistic distinction, gender, and media. The problem with using field as a concept is that there can be an indefinite number of fields, so I tried to concentrate on what I thought was the most important. Now each of these fields has struggles over different types of resources. Economic being money, cultural being goods, and knowledge, prestige being status, artistic distinction being between what is obscene and what is sacred, gender is self explanatory, and media being who is viewed, and who has the most degree of freedom. Although there might not be a struggle that is seen, it is taken for granted. But like I said this is merely an explorative study where I am merely exploring the conflict, it is still up for debate on whether I am witnessing this or just making something out of nothing which is a critique of Bourdieu himself. Either way by doing this little paper for class I was able to take my first steps into the bronies!
Continue reading Interview with Brony Researcher Joshua Reyna
Hello everyone, and apologies for the lack of a recent update. Jason is currently halfway through his second set of exams and I’ve been finishing up school and finalizing plans for the summer. Fortunately, we’ve got an excellent post on the intersections of religious studies and fandom studies by Dr. Andrew Crome, a professor at the University of Manchester and fellow brony academic, that we are able to share. Check it out below the break!
Continue reading Faith and Fandom: Guest Post by Dr. Andrew Crome
by Jason R. Nguyen
Kurt and I have worked with this community for about six months now, and one of the questions that is most interesting to me from a scholarly perspective is what exactly to consider the unit of analysis and its boundaries: what is the configuration of human beings that we are trying to understand and who gets included or excluded? In the scholarship in my area—cultural anthropology and sociological theory figure most prominently, though my influences reach across disciplines—there have been a number of different ways of defining groupings of people and how one might study them: the ones I’m going to pay the most attention to today are public, cohort, and community. I’d like to continue with a few more next week: fandoms, networks, and networked publics.
Each word has a slightly different history and means something slightly different, providing strengths and weaknesses in terms of what it can describe and what sorts of connections and bonds it can make sense of. I hope showing you a little bit of these scholarly perspectives and how bronies can be considered as representative of each can give you some sense of why the fandom is so interesting to me!
So without further ado…
Continue reading What sort of group are bronies?
Welcome to Part II of our two part interview with Dr. Edwards. Here we move a bit more from the discussion of the fandom itself to a discussion of Dr. Edwards’ and The Brony Study’s history, covering topics such as Dr. Edwards’ background, how the members of the Brony Study became involved with the study, some of the current and future plans for The Brony Study, and (perhaps most importantly) Dr. Edwards’ fanfic-in-progress. We hope you enjoy the rest of the interview. Check it out and comment below the break!
Continue reading Interview with The Brony Study’s Dr. Patrick Edwards (a.k.a. Dr. Psych Ology): Part II
Unfortunately, it’s been well over a month since we last posted and we’re still crazy busy with school. However we think we’re finally able to start posting again. Jason starts his first round of PhD exams tomorrow, so he will be super busy/brain dead for a while, but we’ve done some interesting stuff since our last post and are really excited to share it with you (hopefully you all find it interesting).
We’ll be going to a weekly posting schedule for the time being, just to be sure we don’t fall into another month of silence, so be sure to look for our posts on Thursdays! We’ll continue to respond to messages and comments throughout the week though.
For our first post back, we’re finally getting to share an interview we did with The Brony Study’s own Dr. Pat Edwards, who was kind enough to sit down with us for a lengthy chat (hopefully the first of many). We’ve begun some work on a collaborative project of sorts, which we’ll hopefully be able to drop on y’all real soonish. We conducted the interview back in February via Skype, but the quality of the recording was poor so we’ve posted a transcript (we are considering posting the audio to our YouTube. We’ll include the link on part II if we do). Special thanks to Celia, who painstakingly transcribed the interview for us since we were WAY too busy to do it (it’s a great first… and possibly last, judging by the stress it caused her… transcription).
So, without further ado, here’s the first part of the interview. Sorry it’s a bit “wall of text”-y… My computer is broken and it’s hard to do this on an iPad—we think there’s still a lot to enjoy though. Check it out and comment below the break! We’ll post the second half next week.
Continue reading Interview with The Brony Study’s Dr. Patrick Edwards (a.k.a. Dr. Psych Ology): Part I
After reading Kathleen Stewart’s book Ordinary Affects in the class that this study ultimately arose from, we’ve been very interested in the ways in which MLP and the Brony fandom influence and affect peoples’ daily lives. We caught up with Danny, whose earlier posts on this blog on these matters caught our attention, to talk about the ways in which being a brony has changed his outlook on life and served as a safe space to express emotion. We had to end the conversation a bit earlier that we would have liked to due to space and time concerns, but we are hoping to revisit for a Part 2 soon.
Check out the conversation below the break!
(D= Danny, J= Jason, K= Kurt)
Continue reading Masculinity, Affect, and the Brony Everyday
We had a particularly drawn out trolling incident show up on our twitter feed a few days ago that we decided could be an interesting source for discussion. Luckily, we were able to catch up with Adam Sullivan (aka Harmonic Inferno), who runs Adam Sullivan’s Music Theory Blog; and has helped start Team Young Spark, and he was willing to talk to us. The post covers such things as the trolling incident on his twitter account , “pandering” to the fandom within MLP:FiM, media ideologies, and fedoras. Check it out below the break!
Continue reading The Anatomy of a Trolling
(Right-click, “open image in new tab/window” if you can’t read the text)
We (Kurt and Jason…and Dom, I guess) had a really good time doing the last conversational-style blog, and it garnered a lot of attention on the blog itself as well as some on other sites like Equestria Daily. One critique that we found really useful, however, was that we were probably a little flippant in our treatment of questions of gender in the fandom. Of course, that’s the very definition of male privilege–the ability to be flippant about gendered experiences that aren’t your own–so we really wanted to do something about that.
We invited Michelle to write a post a few weeks ago that proved to be a hit, and it raised even more questions about gender in the fandom, so I asked Michelle if she would dialogue (trialogue?) with us about those issues and share with us a different set of experiences about this and other fandoms. Thanks for being a great sport Michelle! -j&k
Check out the entire conversation below the break!
Continue reading Girl Geeks/Gamers and the Fandom. A Conversation.