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Understanding Fandom: An Introduction to the Study of Media Fan Culture Paperback – Aug 15 2013
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[Duffett's] strategy is primarily educative: to usefully and clearly explain the methods, discourses and debates that emerge from thinking about a body of work on fandom ... The book [has] immense value as an introduction to media fandom. Duffett's authoritative voice and theoretical acumen are much needed as fan studies becomes a pressing subject for more than a few graduate researchers. -- Daniel Cavicchi Popular Music, Vol. 34.2 A well-researched, clearly organized, and forcefully argued revisionist treatise. [Duffett] has crafted an innovative, positive study on media fan culture that challenges the previous negative interpretations of Theodor Adorno and many other 20th-century writers. Duffett's arguments are both convincing and ground-breaking ... a massive stride forward in recognizing the flexibility, imagination, multi-generational make-up, and synergy among media fans. -- B. Lee Cooper, Newman University Popular Music and Society In a world in which digital media are near ubiquitous, facilitating unprecedented access to and participation in mediated content, the affective preferences and attachments by which fans choose to engage with certain content over others out of the digital plethora of texts become central to understanding contemporary life and culture. Understanding Fandom offers an impressive overview of unparalleled scope in examining the many traditions, concepts and methodologies in the study of fans. It is an indispensable text for students and scholars alike. -- Cornel Sandvoss, Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey, UK An accessible overview that defines, organizes and develops fan studies as an area of inquiry. Mark Duffett is inclusive in his assessments and insightful in his suggestions. He offers a valuable compendium of what fandom can tell us about how we make--and are made by--our connections to popular culture. -- Joli Jensen, Hazel Rogers Professor of Communication, University of Tulsa, US
About the Author
Dr Mark Duffett is Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Chester, UK.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I definitely recommend this for someone wanting to get an overview of the current state of fan studies - it's a relatively recent publication so is up-to-date. It does skew a bit more toward an academic and scholarly audience, but I think it's still a beneficial read for any fan.
What makes this introduction so useful to the field is that it is far-reaching, combining multiple fandoms (with a stronger emphasis on televisual, music, and celebrity than others) in his examination, and also confronting many of the hot topics in the field (gender studies, online/offline practices, fan stereotypes). This book is clearly designed to be used in a media studies classroom, with opening questions and epigraphs for each chapter, a thorough glossary, and expansive reference list. In a particular bonus, he gives a nice overview of research in the field, examining the possibilities and restrictions of different research methods. This kind of approach to the text makes it highly adaptable to other areas/disciplines as a thematic approach to classes in sociology, anthropology, communication, and more. As a composition instructor, I have found it useful in my own classes to provide students with applications for examining literacy, genre, and research practices through a fandom studies lens.
While I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who doesn't want to dive into complexity of fandoms, I found this book an important addition to the field, presented in an engaging and critical way. Duffett neither patronizes his readers by dumbing down the material nor alienates them by obscuring his prose in academese.
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