Fans are special. Nowadays they appear to be the holy grail of media culture, which makes it hard to believe that they were once its outcasts. In the 1980s, the common idea was that fans were mindless and mass media were maddening. In the past, authors have provided different definitions of fans and different distinctions, typologies or taxonomies of audiences. For example, Tulloch and Jenkins distinguish between fans and followers: a fan is more involved and claims a social identity as being a fan, whereas a follower does not. Based on participant observation and informal interviews, she argues that online media technologies offer new and alternative ways to disseminate fan-oriented texts, create identification within fan communities and the possibility of Internet-enabled relationships between fans and celebrities. Steve Redhead reconsiders the research tradition on football hooliganism. He archives football hooligan memoirs in order to improve people's ethnographic understanding of fandom in general.
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Zwaan, K, Duits, L. (Linda), & Reijnders, S.L. (2016). Introduction. The Ashgate Research Companion to Fan Cultures, 1–6. Retrieved from