Class, capital, and collecting in media fandom

Authored by: Lincoln Geraghty

The Routledge Companion to Media Fandom

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138638921
eBook ISBN: 9781315637518
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter will focus on the importance of class, distinction, and subcultural capital in the formation of fan identity and fan communities. With the rise of modernity in the early twentieth century, the increased standard of living and leisure time, and the growth of popular culture since the 1950s, people have looked to their favorite sports teams, musicians, films, television (TV) series, comics, games, and celebrities to build a sense of identity and form social relationships with others. As media fan texts diversify so too does the fan community, and notions of what makes you a fan change according to the financial value and cultural distinction people apply, and the social and economic contexts of the communities in which we live. By creating a fan identity fans also claim ownership over their favorite media texts, and it is through the practice of collecting and the objects collected that we see how class and capital (both economic and cultural) are fundamental to the processes of fandom.

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