This study provides an analysis of how online fandom affordances are utilized in association with technological Twitter affordances in discussing disabled representation within the Marvel fandom. Associations were found via a quantitative content analysis of 292 tweets that discuss the Marvel fandom and disability identity. When individuals consume media, the media shapes their perspectives of themselves, others, and the world around them. Objects of fandom (often media) are no exception, meaning a fictional TV show can warp viewers' perspectives. When individuals discuss controversial perspectives that stem from an object of fandom via social media a unique environment is formed. In this environment, individuals discuss perspectives that have been impacted by the object of fandom by utilizing social media affordances and fandom affordances to shape and impact the perspectives of other users on the platform. However, there is little information on how Twitter affordances and fandom affordances work together to take part in this cycle. Thus, this study investigates how perspectives, surrounding minoritized disability identity representation, that stem from Marvel fandom media, utilize both fandom and Twitter affordances. It was found Twitter affordances employ fandom affordances in creating content that impacts perspectives. Results found certain Twitter affordances (1) worked in tandem with the fandom affordance of presenting multiple minoritized identities, (2) were associated with critiquing negative Western societal principles, and (3) worked hand-in-hand with the fandom affordance of creating a connection. This study, part of a unique area of focus, demonstrates the importance of Twitter affordances in utilizing fandom affordances to create content impacting perspectives about disability identity specific to Marvel media. Discussion of theoretical and practical implications for the correct representation of minoritized identities within media conclude the study.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication and Media
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Ebersole, Olivia, "Twitter and Online Fandom Affordances: Connecting Disability Within the Marvel Fandom Via Social Media" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1002.
Restricted to the UCF community until May 2025; it will then be open access.