Towards a Theory of 'Appropriate Fandom'
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15827
As fandom and fan practices become more broadly recognized within popular culture, tensions and conflicts arise between different understandings of the 'appropriate' way to perform fandom. Different groups have different unspoken understandings of what constitutes the 'right' and the 'wrong' way to be a fan, to behave as a fan. These understandings may differ within a fandom, between different fandoms, between fans and the media industries, and between fans and the broader public. This article sketches a framework for how we might understand differing conceptions of 'appropriate' and 'inappropriate' fandom, explores the drivers behind these understandings, and highlights how different participants and stakeholders work to bring fans within their own conceptions of 'appropriate' fandom. The article outlines four modes or directions of 'appropriate' fandom and provides a detailed analysis of how top-down 'appropriate' fandom is evidenced within the television industry, using a case study of the US competition reality television series Survivor.
University of Wales
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