Sense of community in science fiction fandom, Part 1 : understanding sense of community in an international community of interest

Obst, Patricia L., Zinkiewicz, Lucy, & Smith, Sandy G. (2001) Sense of community in science fiction fandom, Part 1 : understanding sense of community in an international community of interest. Journal of Community Psychology, 30(1), pp. 87-103.

View at publisher


Within the discipline of community psychology there is debate as to the dimensions underlying the construct psychological sense of community (PSOC). One of the few theoretical discussions is that of McMillan and Chavis (1986), who hypothesized four dimensions: Belonging; Fulfillment of Needs; Influence; and Shared Connections. Discussion has also emerged in the literature regarding the role of identification within PSOC. It has been suggested that differences in PSOC may be understood in terms of the degree to which members identify with their community (Fisher & Sonn, 1999). However, few studies have explored the place of identification in PSOC. In addition, while PSOC has been applied to both communities of interest and geographical communities, little research has looked in depth at PSOC within communities of interest. The current study therefore explored PSOC in science fiction fandom, a community of interest with membership from all over the world, by means of a questionnaire distributed at an international science fiction convention (N = 359). In an endeavor to clarify the underlying dimensions of PSOC, the questionnaire included several measures of PSOC, and measures of identification with the community. Results showed that science fiction fandom reported high levels of PSOC. Support emerged for McMillan and Chavis' (1986) four dimensions of PSOC, with the addition of a fifth dimension, that of Conscious Identification. These results, and implications for PSOC research, are discussed.

Impact and interest:

55 citations in Scopus
48 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

1,217 since deposited on 09 Dec 2004
11 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 601
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: psychological sense of community, social identity, relational community
DOI: 10.1002/jcop.1052
ISSN: 0090-4392
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 John Wiley & Sons
Copyright Statement: The definite version is available on publication at
Deposited On: 09 Dec 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2012 09:44

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page