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Textual Poachers

  • By: Catherine Tosenberger
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

Textual poaching is a term popularized by scholar of fandom Henry Jenkins and used to articulate the processes by which dedicated fans respond to popular media. In this formulation, fans are not simply passive consumers of popular texts but “become active participants in the construction and circulation of textual meanings” (Jenkins 1992, 24). Fans, often constructed as mere dupes of the official culture industry, are in fact savvy, subversive readers operating outside of the cultural industry's paradigms—especially since they are not only readers. Jenkins emphasizes fans as producers of new cultural material: fans “poach” their favored texts to create a variety of new analytical and creative works. These works include message board and blog posts, self-published zines, fanfiction, art, films, “filk” songs, and fan “vids”—clips ...

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