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Fans and Fandom

Media fans are devoted followers of media texts and/or personalities (e.g., movies, TV programs, genres, characters, performers). The term fan might seem conceptually self-evident, yet fans and fandom offer scholars avenues to explore identity, community, and culture. Fans are distinguished from other audience members by virtue of their affinity levels (i.e., fans like things more than other people); however, fans are also characterized by their prolonged engagements and/or connections to identifiable subcultures (i.e., fans belong to active and expressive communities). The term fandom is used to refer both to a condition or to a community or subculture. Some scholars focus on networks of affiliation and communal behaviors (the fans), while others tend to write about individuals or even themselves (a fan). In both cases, fans ...

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