Fame and Fandom
Functioning On and Offline
by Celia Lam; Jackie Raphael; Renee Middlemost; Jessica Balanzategui (editors)
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add email@example.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 29 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 29 Nov 2022
University of Iowa Press, University Of Iowa Press
POPULAR CULTURE / MEDIA STUDIES
Celebrities depend upon fans to sustain their popularity and livelihood, and fans are happy to oblige. With social media they can follow their favorite (or least favorite) celebrities’ every move, and get glimpses into their lives, homes, and behind-the-scenes work. Fans interact with celebrities now more than ever, and often feel that they have a claim on their time, attention, and accountability. In Fame and Fandom, the contributors examine this tumultuous dynamic and bring together celebrity studies and fan studies like never before.
In case studies including Supernatural, Harry Styles, YouTube influencers, film location sites, Keanu Reeves, and celebrities as fans, readers find new approaches to fan/celebrity encounters and parasocial relationships. This is the go-to volume on the symbiotic relationship between fame and fandom.
“Too often fame and fandom have been studied as separate or discrete phenomena. In this groundbreaking edited collection not only are they powerfully brought together, but their manifestations and mutations are explored in both on and offline spaces. Transnational and contemporaneous in nature, with a wonderful set of case studies, Fame and Fandom will be on every serious celebrity and fandom scholar’s bookshelves by the end of the year.”—Sean Redmond, Deakin University
“I was highly impressed by this book and its scope, focus, and standard of scholarship. The research here asks new questions, vitally challenging some of the assumptions and work that has come before. Overall, this work makes a beautifully strong and valuable contribution to fan and celebrity studies.”—Lucy Bennett, Cardiff University
Average rating from 5 members
Fame and Fandom, edited by Celia Lam, Jackie Raphael, Renee Middlemost, and Jessica Balanzategui, is a collection of essays that works on broadening the interdisciplinarity and diversity of fan studies and closely associated studies.
A couple of quick notes, I am no longer in academia so while this is something I would have been reading at the time I am no longer current on the theories or methodology. That puts me somewhere between the primary readership, academics, and those who will likely have an interest in the topic, namely fans (or perhaps PR people?). My main interest, other than simply wanting to know what is going on, is to better understand a type of fandom that is remarkably different at first glance from what someone my age thinks of. There are, however, many similarities at the core, but with different ways in which to express being a fan, the world of today's fans is very different from what I knew.
Some of the essays may well only be of interest to those in the scholarly fields surrounding this topic. I am thinking primarily of the ones that concentrate on methodology and definitions. These are still interesting but if you're reading this to see where you stand within this larger picture they likely aren't going to be of much interest. The essays that serve as the case studies explain their own definitions and methodology, so skimming the dedicated chapters won't affect your understanding of the case studies.
As a reader who isn't invested in any particular approaches I was able to read this strictly to learn and not to judge whether I liked or disliked an approach. That said, some things still grated on me. Saying research is about "Generation Z" then having a dozen interviewees and specifically all born within a four-year period of the time generally considered that generation just seemed a bit off to me. I can't speak for what is happening in research in this field and at this time, but if I had claimed I was going to look at Baby Boomers' reaction to some cultural phenomenon then limited my research to 12 people born between, say, 1954 and 1958, I would have been sent back to do more research. But that would have been cultural studies and about 15 years ago, so things have changed. Interpolation can be much broader than it once was.
I would say this is essential reading for anyone in the field or anyone working peripherally to the field. I also think those who might never do such research but can benefit in their discipline from some of the findings here will also find this a useful read. While not quite as enthusiastically, I would recommend this to readers who are fans and want to better understand the world in which they are operating. This includes, broadly speaking, influencers and other niche social media personalities.
Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
(my Goodreads review below)
If you’re like me, someone not working in the field of celebrity studies but interested in the history and anthropological meaning of celebrity-fan interactions around the world, this book is the best resource out there. Fame and Fandom covers not only the fan culture of film celebrities but also sports stars and online influencers, even going so far as to discuss what happens when a celebrity actually participates in fan culture rather than being the object of it.
The culture of fandom shapes both the celebrities’ experience of fame (i.e how they’re perceived and even how much they can excel in their field) and their impact on the world (there is a whole chapter centering on the charitable campaigns of the cast of Supernatural, on which the fans were an enormous influence). It can be dense reading at times for the layman, but the research is really fascinating.
Something I appreciated about this book was that it didn’t just focus on American fan and celebrity culture; this research spans the globe, from the film megastars of China to the reigning YouTube celebrities of Brazil. It’s a well rounded approach to the subject and a great introduction to the field of celebrity studies.
A big thank you to NetGalley and University of Iowa Press for sharing a galley with me.
Readers who liked this book also liked:
Graham Rayman; Reuven Blau