Audiences are problematic and the study of audiences has represented a key site of activity in the social sciences and humanities. Offering a timely review of the past 50 years of theoretical and methodological debate Audiences argues the case for a paradigmatic shift in audience research. This shift, argue the authors, is necessitated by the emergence of the `diffused audience'. Audience experience can no longer be simply classified as `simple' or `mass', for in modern advanced capitalist societies, people are members of an audience all the time. Being a member of an audience is no longer an exceptional event, nor even an everyday event, rather it is constitutive of everyday life. This book offers an invaluable rev

Fans and Enthusiasts

Fans and enthusiasts

One of the central arguments in this book has been about the transformation in the nature of audiences. In this chapter we illustrate this argument further by treating fans and enthusiasts as a form of skilled audience. Through fan activity – which clearly involves the deployment of imagination fuelled by the media in an imagined community – people are helped to construct particular identities. We have two additional reasons for introducing the topic of fans and enthusiasts. First, it can be suggested that much of the literature on fans, at least in its early stages, was driven by concerns which arose from the Incorporation/Resistance paradigm. Thus, for example, the studies were concerned to examine the way in which sectors of ...

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