Textual Poachers: Television Fans & Participatory Culture

By Henry Jenkins | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION

"In My Weekend-Only World…": Reconsidering Fandom
In an hour of make-believe
In these warm convention halls
My mind is free to think
And feels so deeply
An intimacy never found
Inside their silent walls
In a year or more
Of what they call reality.
In my weekend-only world,
That they call make-believe,
Are those who share
The visions that I see.
In their real-time life
That they tell me is real,
The things they care about
Aren't real to me.

(T.J. Burnside Clapp "Weekend-Only World" 1987, Fesarius Publications)

"Get a life," William Shatner told Star Trek fans. "I already have a life," the fans responded, a life which was understood both in terms of its normality by the standards of middle-class culture and by its difference from that culture. This book maps some major dimensions of that "life." If fans are often represented as antisocial, simple-minded, and obsessive, I wanted to show the complexity and diversity of fandom as a subcultural community.

This account offers a conception of fandom that encompasses at least five levels of activity:

a. Fandom involves a particular mode of reception. Fan viewers watch television texts with close and undivided attention, with

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