Culture and co-creation: Exploring consumers’ inspirations and aspirations for writing and posting on-line fan fiction



Date of this version


Document Type

Book Chapter


consumer co-creation; consumer value; dramatistic method; fan fiction; Harry Potter; motivation


This paper explores how consumers use the media products of mass culture to co-create the meanings of popular culture. Specifically, we examine both why and how Harry Potter fans utilize the primary texts written by J.K. Rowling to co-create their own fan fiction. Towards this end, we utilize Kenneth Burke’s dramatistic method to explore the pattern of literary elements in both the original texts and the fan fiction. We argue that the primary impetus for consumers to engage in the co-creation of these texts is found in their ability to emphasize different ratios of literary elements in order to express their individual and collective desires. Through this process, fans utilize and contribute to the meta-textual meaning surrounding these primary focal texts and propel the original products of mass culture to the cultural texts of popular culture.

Published in

Research in Consumer Behavior: Consumer Culture Theory, Volume 11

Citation/Other Information

Lanier, Jr., Clinton D. and Hope Jensen Schau (2007), “Culture and Co-Creation: Exploring Consumers’ Inspirations and Aspirations for Writing and Posting On-Line Fan Fiction,” in Research in Consumer Behavior: Consumer Culture Theory, Vol. 11, Russell W. Belk and John F. Sherry, Jr. (eds.), Oxford: Elsevier, 321-342.