Jack M. Weatherford Award for Best Capstone in Anthropology
This ethnography explores constructions of selfhood in Furry Fandom, the organized body of people fascinated with anthropomorphism and zoomorphism. I argue that furs, who are members of the Fandom, construct the self similarly to a “gemstone,” using their fursonas—personally created (re)presentational entities imbued with a sense of personhood—to (re)present different facets of that gemstone. Through the performance of this (re)presentational entity, furs embody socioculturally sanctioned values they associate with their fursonas, and thus, their “true” or “ideal” senses of self. When this performance is validated by other furs, these socioculturally sanctioned values are reinforced in the construction of the self-as-gem, (re)presenting not only the facets of the gem but contributing to the “shaping” of the gem itself.
Dunn, Jake, "Self as Gem, Fursona as Facet(s): Constructions and Performances of Self in Furry Fandom" (2019). Award Winning Anthropology Papers. 5.
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