C3 Broaden Your Thinking: Fan Culture and Immune Systems

            The inquiry question that I pursued for this cycle was "How does the immune system differ between individuals?" While working on my research for this cycle, I came across Takako Liu’s work on media fan culture. Her inquiry question is “How has media fan culture affected our (western) society?” For the Broaden Your Thinking post of this cycle, I will be comparing my research on the immune system with Takako’s study of fan culture.

          One of the first things that Takako addresses in her investigation is the false stereotype about fans being extremely emotional and obsessed towards works of fiction. She says in her project plan that “the way fans are portrayed in the media doesn't do justice to real fans, who are actually normal people with normal lives.” I admire Takako’s understanding on how the conventional idea of a topic may not be true. In my own work, it took me some time to understand that the role of the immune system is not only about defending the human body from harmful pathogens but that it also affects our personalities; this cycle has taught me that standard description of a concept may not always be correct.

          The Broaden Your Thinking post aims to connect to different topics. After completing my third research cycle, I have come to the understanding that even if conventional ideas state that the connection is absurd, as innovators we have to do our best to discover new links. With this in mind, I have developed the following question: “Do the interests of an individual affect how her/his immune system functions?” Studies that have been conducted to find the relationship between emotions and immunity could be the basis of answering this inquiry question. I look forward to reading more of Takako’s investigation and will continue to do my best here at Butterfly Effect.

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