The cosplay dress-up phenomenon among fandom, identity-construction and psychic suffering expression

Daniela Cantone, Anna Teresa Laudanno


The term cosplay, contraction of the words costume and play, is used to indicate the practice of dressing up as fantastic and animated characters during events as comic book fairs. Born in Japan in 80’ years it has spread around the world mostly affecting populations of adolescents and young adults. Cosplayers can belong to any age, gender and ethnicity, can have different jobs, educational level and income. They have an intense on line activity and the net is used to meet other cosplayer, to plan joining in events and to enhance prestige and fame within the cosplay community. Despite the inreasing spread of the phenomenon, also in Italy, the scientific literature seems poor and generically inserted inside contributions about the fandom. The present paper aims to offer a review of national and international literature about this phenomenon with the purpose to give an accurate description and to present the main interpretative hypothesis.


cosplay, imitation, fandom, identity-construction, self-seeking.

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Rivista di Psicologia Clinica. Teoria e metodi dell'intervento

Rivista Telematica a Carattere Scientifico Registrazione presso il Tribunale civile di Roma (n.149/2006 del 17/03/2006)

ISSN 1828-9363