Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Anthropology


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Kate Centellas

Second Advisor

Noell Wilson

Relational Format



POCKET MONSTERS AND PIRATE TREASURE: FANTASY AND SOCIAL PLATFORMS IN THE 21ST CENTURY is an anthropology project examining media, fantasy, ideology, and social groups in order to build a better foundation for the ways in which economic and social changes influence social networking, popular media, and values by using the anime-manga subculture as an example. The thesis draws from three major theorists: Thomas LaMarre, Anne Allison, and Ian Condry as well as major anthropological theorists such as Pierre Bourdieu. As an ethnography, the project was split into two sections: one consisting of interviews with eight anime-manga subculture participants drawn primarily from the University of Mississippi Anime Club, and the second constructed from participant observation in a variety of activities important for constructing the community, such as conventions and group watching of animated series. I conclude that through the synthesis of different strains of contemporary ideas—along with my own contribution of theory in the form of a redefinition of Levi-Strauss’s concept of bricolage—a better way of understanding both resistance in the consumption of popular media and the formation of group cultures in social networks. Larger conclusions on this regard are posed as ongoing studies and challenges to the field of media studies and anthropology, and as targets of further research.



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