A Loaded Label: Intricacies of Being a Fan in Henrik and Sara Linden’s Fans and Fan Cultures
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In Fans and Fan Cultures, Henrik and Sara Linden examine what it means to be a fan in an increasingly globalized, digitized, and capitalized world. In an age when personal information is easily searchable in the Internet era, people can now become fans immediately with the click of a “like,” “follow,” or “subscribe” button. The ideal fan is not an obsessive fanatic who claims ownership of the product, but rather one who is balanced and has a following of their own, thus making them not only a fan, but also an influencer and a brand advocate. As worldwide media is largely controlled by an exclusive number of corporations that determine what kind of media we consume, fandom and fan communities offer a compromise: Though corporations and brands shape and control the majority of media content, fandom serves as an opportunity for people with shared interests to come together, forge connections, and find a sense of value and belonging that exists outside the mundane. My analysis will concentrate on a selection of Linden and Linden’s topics and explore how fandom has become a manifestation of the need for authentic, meaningful connections in a time when technological development effectively renders authenticity as a bargaining chip in a much larger marketing ploy.
KeywordsFandom Fan culture Fan creation Consumerism Social media Cultural production Connection Authenticity Coping mechanisms Identity
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.