The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling is at the heart of a popular culture. Through the analysis of the culture's current situation and trends, elements of its probable future can be extrapolated in the areas of technology, socialisation, ownership and control.
Harry Potter, like all popular cultures began on a local level in June of 1997 with the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in an Edinburgh bookshop. After early success in this trial release the book was soon released widely throughout the United Kingdom. The next year saw a global release.
Technology in the Harry Potter culture has played a substantial role in the creation and continuation of the culture and will continue to do so into the future. Through the emergence of global networks, primarily the Internet, Harry Potter has been able to draw people from around the world together to form a community of fans, meeting online through blogs, podcasts such as Pottercast and fansites such as The Leaky Cauldron.
Through technology, the Harry Potter culture has diversified, with Harry Potter fan art, music videos and fan-fiction emerging in recent years. Along with these new arrivals is the Wizard Rock movement, musical groups banded through the Internet site Myspace to write and sing songs inspired from the series.
As a result of the diversifying potential of the Harry Potter fandom as a result of technological advancement and wider access to these technologies, I predict the emergence of many new types of technologically linked expressions of the culture in the years to come. Ownership and control play a significant role in the current existence of the Harry Potter culture and are having major impacts upon its probable future. The control the Harry Potter book and film series hold over the consumer market is taken full advantage of by trademark owners Warner Brothers and Scholastic.
Over 600 film and book related products have so far been released, earning US$76...
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