Author

Matt Morgan

Advisor

Rafferty, Janet

Date of Degree

5-1-2008

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Anthropology, Sociology and Social Work

Abstract

This paper attempts to describe and analyze the culture of the furry fandom within the context of anthropologist Anthony Wallace’s model of cultural revitalization movements. This paper argues that the furry fandom represents a modern, subcultural revitalization movement in which values, identity, and sexuality are transformed through the mechanism of zoomorphic symbolism. Over one-hundred interviewees were formally and/or informally interviewed during the course of this study. Interviewees generally expressed a deep affinity for childhood and a negative perspective on adolescent culture. This paper argues that the transformation of identity present in the furry fandom is based on a synthesis of idealized concepts of childhood culture and reactions to negative-self images developed during adolescence. This revitalization process is most evident in the sexual practices of many furries. Rather than a conglomeration of fetishes, the sexual practices of the fandom represent an attempt to redefine individuals’ "mazeways" through the merging of childhood iconography with sexual empowerment and other traits desired by interviewees.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/15186

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