I’ve used my third elective to work on my literature review, which will be used in my final MACT research project. You can find my application form here [PDF]. This includes my list of readings and assignments approved by the MACT program.
I started with an initial reading list, with the work of Henry Jenkins and Axel Bruns as foundational concepts. After assessing this initial list, I conducted a systematic search for literature to understand what has been done on my research topic.
In terms of sports fans and participatory culture, the initial readings I came across fell into three categories:
- Research that examined the consumption of sports by fans. This would look into what and how much they were consuming.
- Research that examined why sports fans behaved the way they did. This is where the psychology theories would be applied. Why do fans get aggressive? Why and how do they identify with teams and players? That kind of stuff.
- Research that examined how fans engage with sports. Video games, fantasy sports and activity on message boards are examples of fan engagement.
Based on these three categories, I think fan engagement is the one closely related to what I’m pursuing. Plus, not much has been done on it.
Then I did a systematic search of all the literature available to explore fan engagement even further. It will be these readings, along with Jenkins’ and Bruns’ work, that will make up the bulk of the final literature review due in August.