Includes bibliographical references (p. 207-231) and index.
Fans are one of the most widely-studied groups of media consumers. Often knowing more about a character or TV series than the star or programme-makers themselves, and ready to make surprising readings of plot lines and characters, they have been viewed as the ultimate active audience. Fan Cultures is both the first comprehensive overview of fan theory and a challenge to the established paradigms of 'fan studies'. Emphasising the contradictions of fandom, Matt Hills outlines how media fans have been conceptualised in cultural theory. Drawing on case studies of specific fan groups, from Elvis impersonators to X-Philes and Trekkers, Hills discusses a range of approaches to fandom, from the Frankfurt School to psychoanalytic readings, and asks whether the development of new media creates the possibility of new forms of fandom. Fan Cultures also explores the notion of "fan cults" or followings, considering how media fans perform the distinctions of 'cult' status. (source: Nielsen Book Data)