Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952606 | Print ISBN: 9781412905305 | Online ISBN: 9781412952606| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
A fan culture forms when a group of fans organizes around their shared interest in a media text or personality. The best-known, most visible examples of these cultures include Star Trek fans, Elvis impersonators, and “Dead Heads,” or Grateful Dead fans. However, fan cultures exist for an extensive variety of television programs, films, books, comic books, actors, and musicians. Among young people, one can find fan cultures for everything from Harry Potter to The OC. Like any culture, organized fan communities operate within a set of norms and rules of behavior. Frequently, behaviors that are acceptable within the fan culture carry a different meaning for the outside observer. For instance, the culture at large may view as aberrant dressing up like a favorite character for a film premiere or fan convention. Within the fan community, however, this costume wearing makes sense as one of the many activities in which fans ...