What arguments have been made by academics about the importance of fan culture?
How far do these arguments relate to your experience of this culture and the experience of a specific group of fans?
Entertainment has been known to bring pleasure to a lot of people around the world through television, radio or other elements of the media. Even though the positive characteristics of entertainment can be debated, negative aspects do exist. In the past century television, film and video came to dominate the mass mediated world and increasingly continues to do so today with a large quantity of entertainment being brought into the homes of millions of people globally provided by the culture industry.
A popular and traditional view of mass media audiences sees them as passive 'culture dopes’, meaning that the people consume whatever media is placed in front of them with no thought on their part (Szeman and Kaposy, 2011). William Jenkins opposed the views that state people as being cultural dopes who just absorb any media; he described the people as ‘consumers who also produce readers who also write, spectators who also participate’ (Jenkins 1992). Mass culture is a term, which was used in the late nineteenth century until the 1950s. Since the 1960s the term popular culture has been used instead. Mass culture is defined as a culture that is generally distributed via the mass media and popular culture is defined as the vernacular culture that prevails in a modern society, for example, mass-market, entertainment and fashion. The study of the fandom, which is defined as a subculture composed of fans characterised by a feeling of sympathy and comradeship with others who share a common interest (Storey, 2006) has challenged the conception of popular culture as mass culture. The aim of this essay is to therefore illustrate how the conception of fan culture has been challenged by academics.
As the rise of technology progressed, so did the...