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Chapter 8 Music, Fans and Fandom

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-908999-52-8-2251

ISBN: 978-1-908999-52-8

Published: May 2013

Component type: chapter

Published in: Music, Markets and Consumption

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-908999-52-8-2009



Fans and fandom have been studied in a variety of different contexts, from soap operas to novels. Although there is a lot one can learn from studies about the characteristics of fandom and the behaviour of fans in general, research into music fans and fandom remains relatively scarce, with only a handful of works in the fields of popular music, marketing and consumer behaviour. Yet understanding music fans is crucial if one is to comprehend the production and consumption of music. For so many avid music consumers, the pleasures derived from music allows them to make sense of their everyday lives and experiences (Willis, 1990), ‘letting other people know who we are, or would like to be, what group we belong to, or would like to belong to’ (Shankar, 2000: 28). Music consumption is a very rich source of symbolic resources that can be drawn on by music fans to construct their individual and social identities. The purpose of this chapter is to explore fans and fandom in the context of music consumption and production. It builds on the earlier discussion in Chapter 7 on music consumption, where the frame of the music ‘fan’ was introduced. The chapter begins, therefore, with an attempt to provide a historical context for fans and fandom, and then outlines our understanding of fans and their behaviours and motivations. This is followed by an overview of fandom, its intensity and social organization. The chapter concludes with some observations on the material productivity of fans.

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  • Dr Daragh O’Reilly, University of Sheffield (Author)
  • Dr Gretchen Larsen, King’s College London (Author)
  • Dr Krzysztof Kubacki, Griffith University (Author)

For the source title:

  • Dr Daragh O’Reilly, University of Sheffield (Author)
  • Dr Gretchen Larsen, King’s College London (Author)
  • Dr Krzysztof Kubacki, Griffith University (Author)

Cite as

O’Reilly, Larsen & Kubacki, 2013

O’Reilly, D.D., Larsen, D.G. & Kubacki, D.K. (2013) "Chapter 8 Music, Fans and Fandom" In: O’Reilly, D.D., Larsen, D.G. & Kubacki, D.K. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-908999-52-8-2251


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