Since it first aired in 1966, Star Trek led American television into a more progressive era by presenting a diverse cast interacting as equals, demonstrating expertise and efficiency as they lead a starship across the galaxy. To this day, the Star Trek franchise strives to inspire viewers to find beauty in diversity and progress. In Social Movements and the Collective Identity of the Star Trek Fandom: Boldly Going Where No Fans Have Gone Before, David G. LoConto explores the development of the Star Trek fandom from its tough beginnings in the 1960s to its popularity explosion in the 1990s and its triumphant return in 2017. LoConto analyzes the cultural phenomena of Star Trek through a social psychological approach, using symbolic interaction theory and strategic ritualization theory as well as ideas from Habermas and Foucault to track the fandom's movements, values, and evolution.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 250
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
As a longtime sociologist and Trekkie, I found a lot to learn and enjoy from in Social Movements and the Collective Identity of the Star Trek Fandom. Star Trek might seem like an incongruous entry into sociological concepts and theories, but nothing could be further from the truth. I have long sought ways to incorporate more science fiction into my courses, and here LoConto has done it: Blumer meets The Borg, Cooley and Klingons, Mr. Spock with Dr. George Herbert Mead. Tracking the show and its fandom through civil rights era to the social media moment, readers learn about identity, social groups, movements, cultural diffusion, multiphrenia and more. It's symbolic interactionism for the twenty-third century.--Jonathan Wynn, University of Massachusetts Amherst
In this fascinating work, David LoConto provides a comprehensive view of the Star Trek fandom from its inception to contemporary manifestations. LoConto is particularly insightful regarding nuances in the resources, politics, and perspectives of fans across different historical junctures. For fans as well as sociologists, Star Trek provides a remarkably fruitful lens from which to examine important social changes in the larger society. This book pulls together an impressive amount of history with original research of LoConto's, notably the collection and analysis of fanzines, recollections of his time spent within the fandom, and thoughtful in-depth interviews with fans.--Dana Fennell, University of Southern Mississippi