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January 15th, 2020 11:37:12 am

"You Were the Song that my Soul Understood"

Personal Connections Through Shared Discourse in Facebook Community, “Phish Chicks”

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As new online discourse communities form every day, we must comprehend how they serve as places in society where intercommunication is constantly being reinvented. Fans of the band Phish are members of a unique discourse community that has been growing for 30+ years. At the moment, there are a variety of online spaces where Phish fans can partake in such discussions and all their iterations. This article presents the ethnographic research of one of these communities, "Phish Chicks", which is dedicated to the minority group of female fans in the scene. "Phish Chicks" is a private Facebook group with over 14,000 members, 90% of whom are regular users. What makes "Phish Chicks" so intriguing, and why more research needs to be done about it, is that the majority of the discourse exchange is not centered around the band and its music, but instead acts as a safe space where like-minded women can commingle with women who vary in age and location, but connect because of a shared love of music. This research looks at the importance of online communities as places where identity can be developed through fandom, as well as how gender has an influence on the way communication affects identity.

“You Were the Song that my Soul Understood”:

Personal Connections Through Shared Discourse in Facebook Community, “Phish Chicks”

Between 2007 and 2010, the musician, writer, and actress Carrie Brownstein wrote a music blog for NPR called Monitor Mix. In presenting the goal for the blog, she said: “my hopes for Monitor Mix are that it will be descriptive as opposed to merely prescriptive. I would rather discuss and examine what it is that people actually consume than to tell you what you should be listening to…Though I might occasionally review a piece of music, I would rather explore the contexts and the ways in which we enjoy or maybe even despise it.”(1)  In this respect, she gave a rather feminine voice to the act of dissecting music, opting for feelings and emotions, rather than statistics and criticism, something that tends to be a more masculine feature of music review, especially in the genre of jam music. In 2009, she put out a call for her followers to justify their love for a band whose reputation may be undervalued. One result was a weeklong investigation into the band Phish where her insights were focused on the community as much as the band. For example, she identified with Phish fans, saying such things as:

Maybe the fact that Phish and its fans are thought of as synonymous is why people rarely do simply focus on the song…I do appreciate the care and thoughtfulness that Phish fans are taking in guiding me through this process. It all seems like further evidence that the band’s fans are aware of how greatly misunderstood Phish can be. I’d argue that the Phish fire is in the fans; they’re the ones who cohered the band for me, and gave the music a context and a platform.(2) 

Brownstein’s foray into this music scene reveals a perception of the band that aligns with the community surrounding it—especially female fans of the band who tend to converse in a similar way, communicating their appreciation for the community as on par with the music itself, justifying an interdependent relationship between the band and its fans as the reason for its success. In March of 2018, a podcast called Phemale Centric debuted with host Dawn Jenkins representing the true voice of the female Phish fan. Using language that is both endearing and shameless, it illustrates the reality of this extraordinary group of women. In the debut episode, Jenkins interviewed Bethany Barker, the creator and administrator of the private Facebook community, “Phish Chicks”, a group established in March of 2017, which currently hosts over 14,000 female fans, 90% of whom actively participate in the online discussions that average over 7000 posts per month. What makes this fan community unique is that the majority of the discourse exchanged is not centered on the band and its music, but instead acts as a woman-centered space where like-minded members can converse with confidence and trust that stems from the simple shared love of a band. Barker said she created the group because she wanted a place where female fans could talk about the band with ease and comfort, not having to worry about keeping up with the typical male conversation that tends to lean towards more technical observations of the band. Without the hindrance of male voices to overpower them, female fans gain deeper connections to the band through interpersonal communication.

Cristofari and Guitton acknowledge the importance of “the aca-fan in the structuring process of knowledge relative to fan communities, their relationships with other fans and other methodological and practical implications of the aca-fan’s position [that] have received far less attention in spite of the vital importance of such considerations for those studying fan communities.”(3) As an aca-fan (academic scholar-fan), one must acknowledge and embrace the role of investigating the unique aspects of a fan community in order to broaden the scholarship of this discipline, while extending these insights to the fans themselves. This article presents the ethnographic research(4) of the Facebook community “Phish Chicks”, the largest female fan community of the band Phish. In doing so it builds upon Rhiannon Bury’s research into female CMDA (computer mediated discourse analysis), and Nancy Baym’s research of online music-fan communities, to look at the formation of individual and group identities that stem from participation in this community. Research was conducted through observations and analyses of posts made within the community over a period of 15 months.


The study of fandom gained prominence in the early 1990’s and has since been established as a growing area of interdisciplinary research. Although from different academic backgrounds, Henry Jenkins, Lisa Lewis, John Fiske, and Joli Jenson are a few of the pioneers who helped define the field. With the rise of pop culture, the understanding of trends became a necessary means for defining a generation. Appropriately, a clarification of those who find solace in resistance to these trends became an area of interest. Early scholarship proposed a significance in the otherness that delineates from the masses in order to create a culture that gives agency to its creators. These convictions, while ahead of their time, have gained relevance in the decades since. Joli Jenson confronted the inaccurate connotation of fandom as a deviance that could lead to dangerous behaviors. Jenson posited this association to be a result of the media itself and its coverage of the mania surrounding such events as rock concerts and celebrity sightings. Furthermore, she suggested that while fans are generally seen as loners with dangerously little ability to establish significant relationships, in actuality, communities of fans have a commonality based on passion which should be investigated: “I believe what it means to be a fan should be explored in relation to the larger question of what it means to desire, cherish, seek, long, admire, envy, celebrate, protect, ally with others…[or] what it means to be alive and to be human.” (5) With this declaration, Jenson opened the floodgates to the immeasurable potentials of the world of fandom.

In recent years, there has been a call to further the research of these fan communities by exploring the nuances of the various subcultures that have developed because of the rise of the internet. As new online discourse communities(6) form every day, we must comprehend how they serve as places in society where intercommunication is constantly being reinvented. Digital tools are appropriated in countless ways to foster communication that is unique to specific communities. Textual analysis of this discourse can serve to enhance our understanding of the effect that online communities have on the formation of individual and group identities. In accordance with this request, I wish to explore the nuances of two types of communities that I engage in: online woman-centered communities and online music communities, both of which have their own characteristics and scholarly research. Before I delve into this, I will briefly summarize the importance of these two categories.

Female Fan Communities

Due to the historically negative connotation of the female fan, there exists an exigency for female scholars to explore discourse within female fan communities where women are “not simply passive consumers, but rather active participants in shaping their own culture.”(7) Trading marginalization with agency has empowered women to take an active stance, not only in the way they are perceived by others, but in how they could and should participate in communication. Woman-centered fan spaces are a natural extension of the bonding culture in which women regularly participate. Rhiannon Bury posits a tendency within mixed sex fan spaces to “[give] men the ‘floor’ but provide ‘hearer support’ by asking questions using minimal markers...that enable men to keep the floor.” (8) This is because women tend to avoid disagreement and exclusion, something that is more common in male-centered spaces. Female spaces are characterized by support and camaraderie, or safe spaces that “[build] confidence and self-esteem, offer[ing] a support system...where people can explore and grow more comfortable with their identity.”(9)  As a result, the discourse that fosters this identity shift must be investigated by female scholars.

Music Fan Communities

Nancy Baym explores the communities that are formed by music fans because “music grounds our intelligence in our bodies and affects us as little else does…It is universal, yet also cultural and still deeply individual.”(10)  Her interest in online music communities is directly related to the historical shift of music as a social experience to music as a business-oriented industry. Until recently, music was primarily seen as participatory, bringing people together to socialize and “participate in the sound and motion of the performance.” (11) The music industry relegated fans to enjoying music in isolation, eliminating the socialization that once took precedence. In this regard, it is not surprising that music fans have taken it upon themselves to utilize the internet in order to reclaim this participatory role, and seek out others who experience music in similar ways. Baym looks at how language and utterances pertaining to music, form relationships and build communities where meaningful discourse can occur through: shared feelings, creating social identities, collecting intelligence, sharing interpretations, and creating for each other. While Baym associates these activities with discourse directly related to the source of fandom, this research looks at how “Phish Chicks” appropriates fandom discourse by utilizing these same activities to create a community that supports individual and group identity apart from the band, while simultaneously increasing affinity for the band.

Analysis of Posts in the Phish Chicks Community

Discourse communities that exist online allow participants to shape their identities through written communication that is specific to the ethos of the group. “Socio-historic theories see identity—the ‘subject’—as a complex ‘construction of the various signifying practices…formed by the various discourses, sign systems, that surround her.”(12)  In this regard, it can be concluded that the participants of “Phish Chicks” use the space as a means for identity formation that can separate them from the dominant culture. Individuals are able to connect to others in online spaces when emotional connections are formed. Baym sees the value of music as a conduit for shared emotions. She states:

When music works, it makes us feel, and when we feel, it’s human nature to want to share those emotions with others. These emotions may not always be good. While it’s great to be able to share excitement about an upcoming album or share the news that you scored great seats for a concert with people who will really understand what you feel, it’s also important for people to be able to share their disappointment, anger, and even grief. The important part is connecting with others who UNDERSTAND what you feel and who can AMPLIFY or MITIGATE it.(13) 

In the space of the “Phish Chicks”, there is a shared appreciation for the music that plays a major role in the lives of its fans, combined with the understanding that female fans make up a minority of that group. As a result, the freedom that is felt within this woman-centered space is represented in the shared discourse. A brief online connection with another woman about the announcement of the Phish tour, is something that can legitimize her individual enthusiasm, while enhancing her identification with the band. Discourse about a show or a song can spark an onset of expression that she can take solace in, furthering her identification with these women. In essence, the line between the emotions related to the music and to the women becomes blurred by the discourse employed because of the ease in which it takes place. For example, the following was posted by ED on Phish Chicks:

Home alone, working on a painting...listening to the 3rd night of SPAC(14) 2012, and feeling like I'm having a flashback in the best way. 😂 The last 5 minutes of Light(15) giving me goosebumps and all that. I'm always listening to shows from the 90s but so many more recent shows are worth a relisten!!(16) 

The woman chooses to initiate this topic in order to heighten her individual experience with others who can identify with her discourse. While the woman expresses that she is home alone, painting, while listening to Phish, she takes a pause in her creative execution in order to disclose her disposition. While her use of the term “flashback in the best way” can be understood as an indication of the aftereffects of an LSD trip, her actual intention is to communicate the visceral feeling she is experiencing at that moment. “As groups develop over time they generate group-specific meanings…[eventually evolving] new forms of speech or genres, unique to that community.”(17)  In other words, the use of group specific language can act as a shorthand, allowing one to communicate a feeling that cannot be expressed with words alone, something that is essential in online communities. In choosing to compare her listening experience to a flashback, she understands that members of the community will be able to align with the emotional value of her experience, resulting in feedback that holds greater value. While group-specific language formulates bonds between members, within “Phish Chicks”, an additional connection to the band is enhanced as well. This can be seen when the poster indicates the presence of goosebumps from the last 5 minutes of a song on the 3rd night of a run at SPAC. While this reference may sound arbitrary to the average person, the woman understands that, even though she may not find someone who has listened to that particular song, on that particular night, there is an inherent comprehension that goosebumps can be acquired while listening to a recording of a show. Her statement is meant to initiate a moment of shared emotion with the group. While she may not have been at that particular show, she is able to relish in and draw upon the space that was created during that show. By extending this emotion into another realm or space, she is able to share that experience with others who identify that this is what allowed her to have a spark of creativity alone in her home that evening.

One response in particular from AR, illustrates the importance of these shared feelings:

This was my 1st show and the first time ever REALLY listening in depth. 😆 My boyfriend, who wasn’t my boyfriend at the time, got me a ticket cause I gave him rides the 2 days prior. I remember my friend, my friend being very dark and the YEM(18) encore blowing me away. I've been hooked ever since. The music, the people, it was a perfect night. Thanks for mentioning this and letting me reminisce.(19) 

While the original poster was not present to witness the live version of the show, this fan can substantiate her reaction. The original post allows AR to transplant herself back to her first show, the one that got her hooked on the band. She recognizes that the night held its perfection not only in the music, which she recalls as blowing her away, but from the people she encountered as well. This shared feeling with the poster allows her to relive the night she experienced through a connection to a woman in another place. They are able to share the space that was created and compare the significance. The commingled feelings here are unique in the fact that they are not experienced in the same way, at the same location, or even the during the same activities. Nevertheless, discourse has allowed each woman to enhance her identification with the music, as well as each other. Jnan Blau connects these emotions to the notion of Deep Collecting, which refers to the acquisition of fan-based materials that can arouse an ephemeral sensation. He posits: “we appreciate that—and how—the meta-physical contours of desire, experience, identity, and cultural values inter-mingle with each other, in the physical object that is the bootleg.”(20) While Blau is referring to the reason why we collect bootlegs as individual fans, we can postulate that the effects of sharing the experiences of listening to past shows (whether a bootleg or a digital version released by the band) invokes a heightened sensation that validates cultural values. These values transcend the culture of Phish, seeping into the mainstream or dominant culture, allowing for a deeper satisfaction to be attained in everyday life. Furthermore, the woman-centered space creates an intimacy that is free from judgement and hierarchy. Hence, this online conversation encompasses an idealistic space in which communication is stemmed not only from the acceptance within a female community, but also from the transformative power of Phish’s music.

In order to participate in online discourse, individuals must become literate in the modes of communication within the community, specifically written discourse. This activity, which aids in one’s enculturation into the community, can also help form individual social identities that convene in the online space. Baym’s research investigates the shared social identity amongst fans of a particular band or musician:                                                   

We also use music fandom to define who we are relative to other people -- to display which tribe we belong to. We use communicative tools -- including merchandise, posters, conversations, bumper stickers and friends links -- to connect ourselves to others who share our musical taste, and to set ourselves apart from those who don’t.(21) 


Similar to the connected emotions that stem from listening to the music, there is also a shared identity amongst members of “Phish Chicks”. This stems from a variety of forces which include, but are not limited to, being a woman in the jam band scene, identifying one's ethics and morals as closely tied to the band’s, and associating live music with one’s outlook on life. The communication that exists within the group is primarily based on a sense of lifestyle connections, specifically the importance of shedding one’s everyday existence in order to become someone else for a moment in time. Phish concerts allow fans to adopt an identity that may contrast their everyday lives. In this light, the music serves as a means for identity transformation. As Erdely and Breede posit in relation to Dave Matthews Band, “songs serve as scripture for sense-making that...fosters spiritual enlightenment…[that] stay with us long after we have left the venue.”(22)  Hence, a connection to the music extends into the lifestyle choices that can be seen within the group. For example, EM posted the following:

In the spirit of camping vs. hotels, what did you do back in the day to stay on tour that you wouldn't do today? I'll start: my worst shower to show ratio was 2 to 14. 😬💩Next!!!(23)   

This prompted over 200 responses in which women were able to share the existence of their alternative selves, most of which cannot presume to be a part of their everyday lives. The woman says “back in the day”, prompting the conclusion that the ability to go on tour is something that is eventually outgrown once adult life kicks in. According to Elizabeth Yeager, Phish fans were originally made up of “predominantly white American middle and upper-middle class youth who, in feeling like they were not a part of American culture participated in the production of the Phish scene.”(24) This was due to the fact that “aside from feelings of having no culture, or being cultureless...Gen-Xers suffer/ed from what Coupland calls ‘historical underdosing,’ ‘liv[ing] in a period of time when nothing seems to happen’ even though much is happening.”(25) As a result, the poster can expect to relate to those women who were original participants in the construction of the Phish culture. And within this woman-centered space, it is an even smaller group that can attest to being part of that original scene. One response in particular, from BB, is worth sharing:

Going to every single show ticketless (but always getting in).... driving to the next city right after the show, high on life, love and god knows what else... hopped on a random boat with strangers in Canada (all for free Molson Ice 😂 And almost missed the show)... bringing half my tour fam to my grandparents house at 3am unannounced on one of the best highs of my life (I had it ALLLLL figure[d] out after a Columbus, OH "Bug"(26) kicked my ass and I woke them up to tell them about it 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️)I could go on for days. Fucking greatest times!!!! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️(27) 

The above response, which includes hitchhiking, drinking and taking drugs is concluded with “Fucking greatest times” to a group that acknowledges the exhilaration that comes along with the freedom of being a fan. The original poster later said, “Hahaha this all amazing!! What we do for our favorite band. 😅”, illustrating the identity of the “Phish Chick” as someone who will do anything for their favorite live performance. While using the present term of “do” implies an ongoing devotion to maintaining this “otherness,” it is apparent that identity is connected to a past freedom that is still important today. Reminiscing facilitates the ability to prioritize the need to strip away the everyday persona in order to maintain these feelings of bliss. This flows over into everyday life that does not involve the music. The group of women here are open-minded enough to understand that there is an inherent quality of freedom and open-mindedness that characterizes a “Phish Chick”. She is not uptight and will not judge. In fact, she will validate the strange and often unaccepted morals shared within the community. She is able to maintain this outlook on life because she is aware that she is not alone, and whether or not she comes face to face with others like her in her everyday life, she knows she can take comfort in this virtual space.

Fans share their individual interpretations of information connected to the source of fandom in order to create a collective intelligence that is representative of the community. According to Baym, “Fans are generally interested in knowing more. They’re the ones who buy magazines to read interviews with the person on the cover….When they’re together, they can create a pool of far more information than they can alone.”(28) As a result, “when it’s shared, fans can build much richer connections to music and each other.”(29) Furthermore, Baym makes the point that “fans engage in making sense of things together.”(30) While Baym refers to making sense of information about the music in order to maintain the fan community, spaces such as “Phish Chicks”, appropriate the discourse of fandom by sharing and making sense of the dominant culture that exists outside of the community. “Phish Chicks” utilize their virtual space as a place to seek guidance in matters pertaining to their everyday lives, the result being an increased presence of the community as a place to seek comfort and empowerment. While the intelligence gained is not directly related to information on the band, it still builds richer connections to the band. John Fiske distinguishes between Bourdieu’s model of cultural capital(31)  and his notion of popular culture. He says: “fans, in particular, are active producers and users of such cultural capital and, at the level of fan organization, begin to reproduce equivalents of the formal institutions of official culture...Fandom offers ways of filling cultural lack and provides social prestige and self-esteem that go with cultural capital.”(32) While Bourdieu posits a correlation between economic and cultural capital, Fiske explains that popular cultural capital’s “dividends lie in the pleasures and esteem of one’s peers in a community of taste rather than those of one’s social betters.”(33) In other words, fans prioritize personal fulfillment from relationships within the community over those outside the community. This directly relates to “Phish Chicks”, as the intelligence gained from the free-flowing advice surges one’s personal satisfaction with the culture supporting it. The following post from TF exemplifies this notion:

NPR: Need some non biased opinions so figure this was the best place. Is it wrong, as someone who is 42 and w/o kids to not want to share the same condo with your family member (cousin) who has a 2yr and a 4yr old on vacation? This is a family member who I love and adore and have spent many yrs vacationing together, so it is a delicate situation. But it's all girls and ages range from 30-73. No other children. Kids have completely different schedules/needs/space. I thought it was ok to suggest/assume that we could rent 2 condos, in the same building and that it would still be vacationing together. Thought mom and 2 kids, sister and grandma could share one condo and the other condo could be cousins/aunts. Still would do everything else together, beach, pool, boardwalk etc. Just have the separate living spaces so the older ppl have a kid free space and the kids have appropriate space to be kids in. Am I way off?(34) 

In this community, women look to each other to get advice on everyday issues because of the understanding that there is a commonality in the way that they see and behave in the world. Community members precede such posts with NPR, meaning Not Phish Related, a term that helps categorize the post as one that seeks the shared intelligence of the community. By posting such a query, the woman acknowledges that she trusts the opinions of the others in this space because of the collective identity that is visible in the ongoing discourse. This is clear when she says that she needs “some non biased opinions so figure this was the best place.” TF’s word choices express a level of insecurity, which we assume stems from being reprimanded for her intentions by others outside this group. She begins her narrative with a double negative: “is it wrong to not” which indicates this defeat. To counteract this and validate her actions, she seeks the opinions of this honest and non-judgmental community. TF received 101 replies to this post in 11 hours. The advice is representative of a well-rounded and contemplative look at the situation from her fellow Phish Chicks, which substantiates her intentions with the post. For example, MK says “Healthy boundaries! You’re allowed for your own space. You can never please everyone, focus on pleasing yourself! ❤️”(35) While the women are clearly supportive, they also endorse empowerment, something that aptly represents the ethos of the community. Amongst the posts of the women who take the time out to help this woman, there is not one post that is meant to be hurtful or lacks understanding of the situation at hand.

The discourse here stands out as representational of the potential within a fan community to create collective intelligence that is not directly related to the object of fandom, but rather from the shared ethos of the group. Fiske explains that “fans report that their choice of their object of fandom was determined at least as much by the oral community they wished to join as by any of its inherent characteristics.”  Thus, the conciliation here comes from a product of this self-created culture, rather than from the band itself, but still serves to connect the women closer to the band that has brought them together.

The research into this online fan community is ongoing, as the nature of discourse communities is to change as new members are initiated and goals are altered. What began as a woman-centered space to share thoughts on the band, has slowly and naturally transformed into a community of like-minded women who can validate each other’s cultural values. While Baym’s research looks at why discourse in fan communities can support the growth of a band, and Bury’s research looks at how female-only discourse nurtures identity, it can be concluded that female fans of a particular band (or genre) identify in similar ways, thus allowing for the formation of a group identity that continues to foster the satisfaction of individual identities.  


Baym, Nancy K. “Making the Most of Online Fandom.” Online Fandom, last modified January 27, 2009,

Baym, Nancy K. Playing to the Crowd: Musicians, Audiences, and the Intimate Work of Connection, New York: New York Press, 2018.

Blau, Jnan. “The Trick Was to Surrender to the Flow: Phish, the Phish Phenomenon, and the Improvisational Performance Across Cultural and Communicative Contexts.” PhD diss., Arizona State University West, 1999.

Brownstein, Carrie. “Phish Update No. 6: The Music.” Monitor Mix (blog). NPR

Brownstein, Carrie. “Welcome to Monitor Mix.” Monitor Mix (blog). NPR.

Bury, Rhiannon. Cyberspaces of Their Own: Female Fandoms Online. Peter Lang, 2005.

Cristofari, Cécile and Guitton, Matthieu J. “Aca-fans and Fan Communities: An Operative Framework.” Journal of Consumer Culture 17, No 3 (2017): 713-31.

Dandrow, Christine. “Fandom as a Fortress: The Gendered Safe Spaces of Online Fanfiction Communities.” Media Report to Women 44, No 1 (2016): 6-23.

Erderly, Jennifer L. and Cunningham Breede, Deborah, “Tales from the Tailgate: The Influence of Fandom, Musical Tourism and Pilgrimage on Identity Transformations.” Journal of Fandom Studies 5, No 1(2017): 43-62.

Fiske, John. “The Cultural Economy of Fandom.” in The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media. London: Routledge, 1992, 30-49.

Jenkins, Henry “Fandom Studies as I see it.” The Journal of Fandom Studies 2, No 2, (2014): 89-109.

Lewis, Lisa A. The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media. London: Routledge, 1992.

Morris, Edwin Kent. “Destroying America: Phish, Music, and Spaces of Aesthetic and Social Exception.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 45, No 1(June 2014): 167-181.

Wardle, Elizabeth. “Identity, Authority, and Learning to Write in New Workplaces.” Enculturation 5, No 2 (2004):

Watson, Nessim. “Why We Argue About Virtual Community: A Case Study of the Fan Community.” In Virtual Culture: Identity and Communication in Cybersociety. Thousand Oaks: Sage, 1997, 102-132.

Yeager, Elizabeth. “Understanding It: Affective Authenticity, Space, and the Phish Scene." (PhD diss., University of Kansas, 2011).


  1. Carrie Brownstein, “Welcome to Monitor Mix,” Monitor Mix(blog), NPR,Nov 4, 2007, accessed April 27, 2018,
  2. Carrie Brownstein, “Phish Update No. 6: The Music,” Monitor Mix(blog), NPR, July 15, 2009, accessed April 27, 2018,
  3.  Cécile Cristofari and Matthieu J. Guitton, “Aca-fans and Fan Communities: An Operative Framework,” Journal of Consumer Culture 17, No 3 (2017): 714-15.
  4.  See definition of ethnography,
  5. Lisa A. Lewis, The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media(London: Routledge, 1992), 27.
  6. See discourse communities as defined by John Swales,
  7.  Jenkins, “Fandom Studies as I see it,” 93.
  8.  Rhiannon Bury, Cyberspaces of Their Own: Female Fandoms Online, (Peter Lang, 2005): 132-133.
  9.  Christine Dandrow, “Fandom as a Fortress: The Gendered Safe Spaces of Online Fanfiction Communities,” Media Report to Women 44, No 1 (2016):11.
  10.  Nancy K. Baym, Playing to the Crowd: Musicians, Audiences, and the Intimate Work of Connection, (New York: New York Press, 2018), 24.
  11.  Ibid.,13.
  12.  Elizabeth Wardle, “Identity, Authority, and Learning to Write in New Workplaces,” Enculturation 5, No 2(2004):
  13.  Nancy K. Baym, “Making the Most of Online Fandom,” Online Fandom, last modified January 27, 2009,
  14.  Short for Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center, a venue that Phish has played.
  15.  Title of a Phish song.
  16.  ED, Phish Chicks,, March 4, 2018.
  17.  Nessim Watson, “Why We Argue About Virtual Community: A Case Study of the Fan Community,” in Virtual Culture: Identity and Communication in Cybersociety, (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 1997), 106.
  18.  Short for “You Enjoy Myself”, title of a Phish song.
  19.  AR, Phish Chicks,, March 4, 2018.
  20.  Jnan Blau, “The Trick Was to Surrender to the Flow: Phish, the Phish Phenomenon, and the Improvisational Performance Across Cultural and Communicative Contexts,” (PhD diss., Arizona State University West, 1999), 200.
  21.  Nancy K. Baym, “Making the Most of Online Fandom,” Online Fandom, last modified January 27, 2009,
  22.  Jennifer L. Erderly and Deborah Cunningham Breede, “Tales from the Tailgate: The Influence of Fandom, Musical Tourism and Pilgrimage on Identity Transformations,” Journal of Fandom Studies5, No 1(2017): 50.
  23.  EM, Phish Chicks,, March 2, 2018.
  24.  Elizabeth Yeager, “Understanding It: Affective Authenticity, Space, and the Phish Scene," (PhD diss., University of Kansas, 2011), 78.
  25.  Ibid., 79-80.
  26.  Title of a Phish song.
  27.  BB, Phish Chicks,, March 18, 2018.
  28.  Nancy K. Baym, “Making the Most of Online Fandom,” 12.
  29.  Ibid., 8.
  30.  Ibid.,12.
  31.  See Bourdieu’s definition of cultural capital,
  32.  John Fiske, “The Cultural Economy of Fandom,” in The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media(London: Routledge, 1992), 33.
  33.  Ibid., 34.
  34.  TF, Phish Chicks,, January 21, 2019.
  35.  MK Phish Chicks,, January 21, 2019.



Goldman, Denise. "You Were the Song that my Soul Understood": Personal Connections Through Shared Discourse in Facebook Community, “Phish Chicks”



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