Down the Rabbit Hole and into the Curious Realm of Cosplay



Haynes, Margaret E

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A person cosplays to engage in a social experience, feel support, have fun, and illustrate their creativity. Cosplayers hold common values that are traditionally found in theater, such as a dedication to artistic purity, duty to proper research, and commitment to characteristic standards. Simply put, cosplayers can pick a character, research the background and personality of the chosen character, and carry out a performance in a realistic-looking costume. This process creates a sense of authenticity, meaning that the person is so true and sincere to the character that the performance is believable. Through a literature review, interviews, and participant observation, I conclude that cosplay fosters social cohesion that transcends most societal subdivisions (age, gender, race, sexuality, geography, socio-economic status) and allows individuals to come together to form a community.



Cosplay, Costume, Identity, Performance, Socialization, Social cohesion