Fans and (Post)Subcultural Consumerism

  • Henrik Linden
  • Sara Linden


In this chapter, we will continue to explore the similarities and differences between “traditional” fans and “brand fans,” but with a greater emphasis on (post)subcultural aspects and fans as consumers in a capitalist consumer society. Concepts such as structure and agency will be discussed, particularly through the lens of the French theorists Guy Debord (The Society of the Spectacle 1967/1995), Pierre Bourdieu (Distinction 1979/2010), and Jean Baudrilliard (The Consumer Society 1970/1998)—and with reference to fan studies scholars such as Cornel Sandvoss (2005), Henry Jenkins (1992, 2006, 2007, 2016), Mark Duffett (2013) and Matt Hills (2002). While fan studies in its early stages—what Jonathan Gray et al. (2007) refer to as the “Fandom is Beautiful” era—focused largely on fans and fan cultures as communities who worked together to help democratise the meaning-making in popular culture discourse, in recent years more emphasis has been placed on fandom as empowering for individual members of fan networks. What aligns these two modes of approaching fan studies is the focus on fandom as participatory culture, thus emphasising the agency elements of being a fan. Albeit idealistically presented as potential instigators of change in cultural studies literature, and as counterparts to established media producers, the world of business and marketing managers views fans as ideal consumers—thus seemingly exploiting the creativity and loyalty of fans.


Social Medium Potential Instigator Youth Culture Transformative Work Participatory Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Linden
    • 1
  • Sara Linden
    • 2
  1. 1.University of East LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Goldsmiths, University of LondonLondonUK

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