Project Pitch Part 2: Harry Potter Fandoms- The How?

Leading on from my previous post ,  I will now discuss the methods in which I will go about my ethnographic studies.

Ethnography is about providing details and creating a story through memories and experiences. Hoey describes how conducting research allows an ‘insider’s view’ into someone’s life; a more detailed understanding of their culture, or in this case ‘fandom’.

Discover Anthropology furthers this discussion and definition by highlighting how valuable this form of study is to understand various aspects, as each individual can promote different key areas of the franchise, it engages many people in different ways.

I will start this project with my own auto-ethnography so I can gauge my place within this fandom and allow myself to reflect on how it has impacted my life.

The emphasis placed on the importance of detail, led me to the decision to conduct interviews to really engage with the Potterheads and form a detailed story about their love and involvement with the franchise.

I will be using a semi-structured interviews- which are in-depth interviews where the respondents have to answer…open-ended questions. This allows each interviewee freedom to tell their stories. They will be able to immense themselves in their memories and recreate an entire picture for me to document.

Being able to create a conversation with those who are actively engaged with the franchise will help me understand some of my main interests-

  • How do they use their media to improve their involvement with the fandom?
  • What is is about the franchise that viewers love so much?
  • What their most valuable memory is? 
  • Is there someone they share the experience with?


I will also be using secondary sources to support the ethnographic ideas relating to fandoms and looking into research conducting over several years to see how media has helped build relationships built within fandoms.

I am going to be engaging in digital ethnography through monitoring my own media usage and taking note of every HP reference, to understand the frequency, in which it is mentioned, and how it can be related to many different things. I will also be monitoring others whom are heavily involved in the fandom (I will be hoping to turn this into a video for the public to view on my blog page).

By being able to see how fans use media to help improve relationships and engage with new content consistently within the fandom, I will hopefully be able to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of media in maintaining the relevance of the fandom. Social media is still relatively new, seeing how fans have used it to their advantage will be a key area within the interviews, as it is a particular interest of mine.

My findings will be presented in blog format, I will be creating a new page dedicated to this ethnographic project. This will be a great way to create a detailed story for the public to follow, as it will break down each interviewee and different related articles.




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