“I’m a Muslim girl in a white, faithless country. I’m the biggest loser of them all.”: Skam Fandom, Muslim Girlhood, and DIY Citizenship

Briony Hannell

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Muslim youth in the West are often positioned as objects of public anxiety in relation to their civic and political participation. They are over-represented in crisis narratives about civic deficits and civic dis-engagement, which displaces attention from the alternative forms of everyday citizenship expressed by Muslim youth (Annette 2011; O'Toole and Gale 2010). Given that minority youth are more likely to engage in unconventional forms of civic engagement and participation, and in line with Smith et al.’s (2005) call for greater recognition of the existing forms of informal and everyday citizenship for minority youth in particular, this paper argues that we should understand fandom as an example of informal and everyday practices that Muslim girls engage in to create new meanings of citizenship and civic engagement.

This paper draws upon a range of ethnographic data and fan-made creative works to examine how Muslim girl fans of the teen web-drama Skam (2015-2017) utilised the skills they have developed as fans to ‘express civic values and perform citizenship’ (van Zoonen 2005), combining the insights of research within girls’ studies on cultural production and DIY citizenship (Harris 2012, 2004) with broader debates within fan studies surrounding the relationship between fandom, popular culture, and civic engagement (Jenkins et al. 2016). This paper explores how fannish cultural production, through the lens of "recognition" and "storytelling", may function not only as personal expressions of cultural creativity for Muslim girls, but as informal and everyday ways of expressing civic values, developing new forms of solidarity and community, and performing citizenship (Harris and Roose 2013).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019
EventInternational Girls Studies Association (IGSA) Conference - University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, United States
Duration: 28 Feb 20192 Mar 2019


ConferenceInternational Girls Studies Association (IGSA) Conference
Abbreviated titleIGSA
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNotre Dame
Internet address


  • Muslim
  • Citizenship
  • cultural production
  • girls' studies
  • girlhood
  • Sociology
  • Youth

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