While subcultural research has always been a common focus of sociological research, most such studies focus on deviant subcultures. This has led to a glut of information on countercultures and criminal subcultures, but relatively little study of less visible subcultures. While there is a great deal of research on the sociology of sport, including sport fandom, there is very little on other fandom subcultures. While this makes sense, as they are niche subcultures, the popularity of formerly niche entertainment is expanding rapidly. Much of this fandom renaissance owes its existence to the Internet, and its ability to bring geographically separate individuals together into communities of interest. This exploratory study examines a particularly niche fandom, the crossover fandom of Sherlock, Doctor Who, and Supernatural on Tumblr, a popular microblogging site. Though the site lacks tools for formal organization of such groups, it nonetheless gave rise to a unique fan subculture. Through a content analysis of posts sampled from the "SuperWhoLock" tag on Tumblr, this study attempts to understand both how subculture manifests in a social blogging setting, and what the reason is for the creation of this particular crossover subculture. Results show that subcultural markers such as image, argot, and shared values can be found online, though in necessarily different forms. The results also suggest that shared values strongly contributed to the creation of this crossover fandom, and may be stronger contributors to fandom community creation in general than expected.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Short, Dean, "SuperWhoLock: An Analysis of Subculture in a Microblogging Setting" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5117.