The brony culture ? the new research area
Posted by GiulyRotarry on April 8th, 2013
Hasbro’s My Little Pony franchise started in the 1980s and has spawned several animated television series which helped promote and sell the associated toy collection. In 2010, Hasbro targeted to re-launch the My Little Pony line of dolls and play sets and so a new show was developed, one specifically created to appeal to the target demographic of young girls. Since the characters and settings challenged stereotypical norms of “girly” images and brought adventure and humorous elements it got the parents interested as well. Interestingly enough, in late 2010 and early 2011 the show found an unlikely audience in a large group of Internet users.
The show’s new found fans, typically males of ages between 13 and 35, were drawn to the show’s characters, animation style and stories. These followers adopted the collective name brony, a combination of the words “bro” and “pony”; this term is actually applied not only to male fans but all fans of the show outside the target demographic. Two of the first informal surveys with up to 9000 participants disclosed the age of 21 being the average age of adult fans and that most of them, i.e. 86%, were males and more than 50% of them had a higher education degree.
The “Brony Community” is a true phenomenon and one of the most interesting fun facts reveals, with the help of an informal statistical census, that as of 2012 there are more than 10 million people in the United States alone who would label themselves as bronies. The phenomenon is so widely spread that there is currently a detailed study, “The Brony Study” conducted by Dr. Patrick Edwards, a psychology professor at Wofford College. The professor states that “the opportunity to study a fan phenomenon from its inception” is a privilege because one can watch the evolution of a culture from the very beginning. The bronies culture was also compared, by professor emeritus Bill Ellis of Pen State University, to the culture of otaku, who are fans of Japanese anime.
Large numbers of bronies put together groups like “Bronies for Good” which run blood drives and raise funds that they subsequently donate to charities like Children’s Cancer Association. You can say that this is a level of fan devotion like no other; Professor Charles Soukup of the University of Northern Colorado explains "media consumers discover extremely unexpected and obscure media texts to cultivate uniqueness and distinctiveness for their mediated identities".
One has to admit that the brony movement represents a level of fan devotion one hasn’t seen before. Professor Charles Soukup of the University of Northern Colorado explains what characterizes bronies as follows: “media consumers discover extremely unexpected and obscure media texts to cultivate uniqueness and distinctiveness for their mediated identities".
Why not get away from the ugly part of reality with some magical and colorful ponies? Rock on bronies!
Like it? Share it!
About the AuthorGiulyRotarry
Joined: November 1st, 2012
Articles Posted: 180
More by this author