The idea that furry is a slice of ordinary society is one well worth keeping in mind. I wrote about it as my very first article on this site, even. It’s important to consider the ways in which we, as furries, are not somehow separate from the rest of the world; furry does not take place in a vacuum, as I believe I’ve said before. We are all members of our own social structures both within and without this subculture, and it’s that mixture of individualities and social ideals that belong to its members that help to make us who we are as a fandom
The very phrase ‘social structures’, however, is telling, in that that is precisely what some of us seek to escape by means of our membership to this social group: structure. For many, furry is seen as something apart from the social structures that surround them in their day-to-day lives. That has come up several times before here, of course. I wrote about leadership in a decentralized subculture, and JM and I have both written about the intersection of furry and the wider cultures to which we belong, both in terms of conformity and non-conformity. This puts us in something of an interesting – and ever-changing – space, as furries. We exist somewhat apart from the wider cultural contexts of which we are a part, though at the same time we cannot escape the connections entirely, for they inform a large portion of the way our own social group works.
This tension between conformity and non-conformity, belonging and not belonging, being a part of society or rejecting it, is a type of liminality, exiting between states, on the threshold, and certainly worth taking a moment to explore.
Continue reading Communitas: Liminality, Marginality, and Outsidership