Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




In the 1930's a middle class subculture developed around the popular culture genre literature known as science fiction. This subculture calls itself "Fandom" (Sanders, 1994; Bloch, 1962). I have chosen to investigate the status passage of the science fiction fan (Glaser and Strauss, 1971); or to phrase this as a question: What is the process of becoming a member of the subculture of science fiction fandom? Throughout this monograph, I refer to the members of the science fiction fan subculture as SF Fandom to distinguish them from other “fandoms” that have grown and branched off from the original group.

In examining the status passage of the science fiction fan (Glaser and Strauss, 1971; Hart, 1976), I used a phenomenological theoretical perspective and qualitative analytical methods to work from concepts to theory formation.

Two methods were used to collect data on rhe status passage of the subcult are member of science fiction fandom: examination of ethnographies and biographies of subculture participants; and in-depth interviews with subculture participants analyzed using qualitative analysis methods. Participant observation enabled me to make contact with other subculture participants ani identify potential interview subjects.

The process of discovering and becoming part of the science fiction fan subculture is detailed as a status passage as defined by Glaser and Strauss (1971). This study contributes to the body of knowledge about subculture participation and the status passage of becoming a subculture member. It provides a basis for further sociological research inquiries into the formation of avocational subcultures and subculture participation as a status passage.