Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

Rachel Mayeri

Reader 2

Kim-Trang Tran

Reader 3

Elizabeth Affuso

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

2023 Hannah G Schneider


Fangirls and groupies have a reputation in the music industry and pop culture. From the hysteria of Beatlemania to the die-hard obsessions with the popstars of the 2000s-2010s, fans have been a critical emphasis of the music industry but for the wrong reasons. In the depiction of fangirls in mass media, their hysterical traits and overwhelming dedication overshadow the true meaning of a fangirl in 2023. Fangirls and groupies are the core of the music industry, they're the consumers and creators that determine an artist’s success and longevity. The Fangirl Re(de)fined applies an ethnographic analysis of the terms fangirl and groupie as used and understood by the fans themselves of emerging pop and indie musicians. Through the examination of the historical case studies of The Beatles and One Direction, and interviews with fans at concerts across the Los Angeles region, one can see the evolution of each term in its colloquial use and internalization. The testimonies of fans indicate a refined meaning of fangirls centered on the idea of conscious fan agency and an increased awareness of their role and impact within the music industry and a greater linguistic shift in gendered assumptions relating to fan practice. From a fan studies perspective, a self-determined fangirl at the center of the discussion is a reclamation of fan identity and a step in removing the stigma of hysteria associated with fan behavior and replaces it with a sense of pride, agency, and creative engagement with the music they love.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.