Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World


The Future of Fandom

Henry Jenkins

We should no longer be talking about fans as if they were somehow marginal to the ways the culture industries operate when these emerging forms of consumer power have been the number one topic of discussion at countless industry conferences over the past few years. We may want to think long and hard about what we feel about fans moving onto the center stage, but we should guard against our long-standing romance with our ghettoizationThe old categories of resistance and cooptation seem quaint compared to the complex and uncharted terrain that we are now exploring. Increasingly, fan scholars have recognized that fan culture is born of a mixture of fascination and frustration, that appropriation involves both accepting certain core premises in the original work and reworking others to accommodate our own interests. We now need to accept that what we used to call cooptation also involves a complex set of negotiations during which the media industries have to change to accommodate the demands of consumers even as they seek to train consumers to behave in ways that are beneficial to their interests. 



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