Potterheads Dispositif: Organization Guided by the Order of the Canon

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Flávia Zimmerle da Nóbrega Costa
André Luiz Maranhão de Souza Leão


Fans of the Harry Potter saga, known as Potterheads, belong to a generation that grew up in a context called convergence culture. They are organized based on a media product in a social space called fandom, through an informal organizational process. Grounded in Foucault’s thinking and organizational theory, we assume that organizational processes can be analyzed as a kind of dispositif and that this is established by practices. Based on this, we developed the following investigative question: how do Potterhead practices demonstrate their organizational process? The research is characterized as a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis, based on practices of Potterheads observed in social media. We identified that the canon of this literary and cinematic universe works as an ordered body of knowledge, whose disciplinary function enables the organization of their fans, which occurs in a dynamic of adhesion and resistance to it. The study reveals how a singular organizational process (Potterheads’ organized life), linked to an economic environment of increasing importance (the entertainment industry), illustrates how a dispositif operates in the production of social spaces and subjectivities, in the midst of an affective economy operated as a biopolitical technology.


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Costa, F. Z. da N., & Leão, A. L. M. de S. (1). Potterheads Dispositif: Organization Guided by the Order of the Canon. Journal of Contemporary Administration, 21(4), 500-523. https://doi.org/10.1590/1982-7849rac2017160187