Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2021

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Communication and Digital Studies

Department Chair or Program Director

Rao, Anand

First Advisor

Crosby, Emily

Major or Concentration

Communication and Digital Studies


This Rhetorical Criticism investigated and critiqued the rhetoric of fan culture on the social media platform Twitter. Twitter is a popular social media platform used for people to communicate with each other, and it is a useful tool for fans to interact with their favorite celebrity in a way that was not possible before. I picked three celebrities from sports, music, and film and tracked fan accounts dedicated to them. The celebrities I used are NBA basketball star LeBron James, the popular boy band One Direction, and the American actor Chris Evans. In doing this, I answered the question; how do the interactions between fans on Twitter differ between fandoms? In doing this research, I found common themes of humor, memes, fan art, activism, politics, and updates on celebrities. The purpose of this analysis was to discuss and compare how three major celebrity fandoms in the genres of sports, music, and movies interact and communicate with one another. In this paper, I argued that examining the history of fandoms, their impact on social media, and the communities fandoms form is key in understanding the rhetoric of followers within fandoms.

Keywords: Fan, Fan Culture, Fandom, Twitter, Social Media, Rhetoric