8.4 Furry/Brony Distinction

As mentioned elsewhere,1 part of the animosity felt toward bronies may have to do with the belief that bronies as “invading” the furry fandom, a fandom which, past research has shown, is particularly important to the identity of many furries.2 Evidence suggests there may be some truth to this claim: about 22% of furries claim that there is absolutely no overlap between the furry fandom and the brony fandom—that they are two distinct entities. In contrast, 28% of furries say that there is at least some overlap between the furry fandom and the brony fandom, and fully 50% of furries claim that the brony fandom is a part of or subset of the furry fandom.3

This data suggests that, far from being a clear-cut issue, many furries may disagree about the location of the brony fandom relative to the furry fandom—a non-trivial distinction. Research in social psychology suggests that seeing a person or a group as belonging to a group that you, yourself, belong to (your “ingroup”) leads you to hold a more favorable impression of that group. Whether or not bronies are considered furries may have a considerable impact on the positivity felt toward them; one analysis revealed that the extent to which a person considered bronies to be a part of the furry fandom also predicted how positivity they felt toward bronies, lending support to this idea.4


  1. See sections section 8.1 Bronies: Prevalence; 8.3 Bronies: Stigma Justification
  2. See sections 2.10 Furry Motivation; 9.3 Inclusion of Other in Self; 9.4 Fandom vs. Fanship
  3. Anthrocon 2012 and IARP 2-Year Summary
  4. Anthrocon 2012 and IARP 2-Year Summary

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