2.12 Social Interaction

Given the importance of belongingness and community to the furry fandom,1 we felt it was important to study the ways in which the furry community maintained this sense of community—that is, the way they interacted with one another. After all, despite the relative rarity of furries (compared to the population in general) and the spatial characteristics of the fandom (international in scope), furries nevertheless maintain a strong, closely-knit community.

In one study, participants rated their agreement on a 7-point scale with a number of items (1 = completely disagree to 7 = completely agree) about to the nature of their interaction with the furry community.2 They indicated that the majority of their interactions with other furries were online (M = 5.55) as opposed to at local furmeets (M = 2.98) or conventions (M = 3.16). Additionally, many furries agreed that the majority of the furs they knew did not live in the same city as they did (M = 5.08).

The same participants were also asked a series of questions assessing the frequency with which they interacted with furries in a number of different contexts. About 25% of furries regularly attended a local furry meet-up, while 50% of furries regularly attended furry conventions, though the sample was obtained from a combined online and convention-going population.

2-12 frequency of social gatherings
2-12 frequency of furry cons

Evident from the tables below, the majority of furries’ interactions are online, either through instant messaging programs, or online forums.

Finally, we found evidence that approximately 40% of furries interacted with one another with at least some frequency on sites such as Second Life or IMVU, with such near-daily interactions being a part of the social lives of 15-20% of furries.

2-12 frequency of imvu second life

In sum, these data suggest that the furry fandom has a strong, vibrant presence on the internet and that, for many furries, online interaction is a crucial part of their interaction with the furry community.

References

  1. See sections 2.3 Fandom Activities; 2.6 Related Fandom Interests; 2.10 Furry as a Choice
  2. International Furry Survey: Summer 2011

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