BS (Social Sciences & Liberal Arts)

Faculty / School

Faculty of Business Administration (FBA)


Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Date of Submission



Dr. Faiza Mushtaq, Assistant Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts

Project Type

SSLA Culminating Experience

Access Type

Restricted Access


In this thesis I have explored the Otaku subculture in urban Karachi which is primarily engaged in by teenagers and young adults. Based on open-ended interviews with individuals members of the anime and manga fandom, and on ethnographic observations made during fan conventions and festivals, I have shown that this is a subculture that hinges on the relatability fans feel with the Japanese culture via anime/manga, and the affective element that draws them to it. Moreover, I have shown that there is a distinct difference between how male and female members of the community express their fan identity, and what might have influenced such differences based on the gender and social norms of Karachi’s own conservative society. This study moves away from media research that invalidates media fans as unproductive members of society whose interests in anime/manga are a meaningless hobby. It instead argues that the transforming image of the ‘geek’ as ‘tech savvy’ with the rise of social media and information technology posits this fandom as ‘chic’ and their interests as having social and economic value.



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