Utilizing the rapidly changing landscape of the Marvel fandom on fanfiction archive Archive of Our Own (AO3) as a research site, this paper presents the findings of a combined autoethnography and digital ethnography of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier community. The work explores the ways in which a fandom community builds itself through information sharing. While the study garnered many findings, this paper primarily focuses on how tags are vital to crafting community identity, while also creating barriers to entry within the Falcon and the Winter Soldier fandom.

The results show that while the broader Marvel fandom can be toxic and unwelcoming, the Falcon and the Winter Soldier fandom community on AO3 is welcoming of newcomers, highly tolerant, and supportive. The paper details the use of different types of tags and tagging practices in the building of community, and the barriers to entry to that community that still exist.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)




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