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Every anthropologist who goes into the field has several things to fear: that she won’t have a clue what is going on in the place that she is studying, that she will get it all wrong or miss all the important things, or that her grasp of the language is not advanced enough to get the nuances of behavior and meanings. Comic-Con had all these potential problems and as a huge and intense event covering many different aspects of popular culture, it was easy for it to misdirect attention and confuse even the most diligent researcher. But what I hoped to capture in these posts was a sense that these thing—comics, movies, fan activities, merchandising, costuming, toys—are all important parts of our culture and should not be shuttled off to the side. There is nothing more important that the story, myth, and meaning-making that goes on at events like this and understanding how and why this happens is just the job for an anthropologist.

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