Epistemological trends of fan studies in communication research: A proposed classification

Marta Prego-Nieto


This article proposes a classification of communication research trends in fan studies. This field is widely recognized in the Anglo-Saxon academia, while it is starting to grow in the Ibero-American academic context. This article analyzes the perspectives and the most relevant authors of fan studies. A literature review of the main works in the field is made. The corpus of study comprises books, book chapters, and academic articles. All the selected works have been highly cited in the research. This methodology enables developing an epistemological classification in five steps: 1) precedents; 2) resistance phase; 3) virtual communities phase; 4) convergence phase; and 5) non-hegemonic negotiation phase. The findings show how each of these phases have their own object and perspectives of study. The article shows how fan studies are increasing their intersectionality and questions if this intersectionality may have an impact in the field. The study concludes that while this may be positive, caution should be taken to not lose this communicational core.


fan studies; fandom; epistemology; media cultural studies


ABERCROMBIE, N. y LONGHURTS, B. J. (1998). Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and Imagination. Londres: SAGE.

ALEXANDER, A. y HARRIS, C. (1998). Theorizing fandom: fans, subculture, and identity. Michigan: Hampton Press.

BACON-SMITH, C. (1992). Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth. Filadelfia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

BOURDIEU, P. (1984). Homo academicus. Paris: Ed de Minuit.

BROUGH, M. M. y SHRESTHOVA, S. (2011). «Fandom meets activism: Rethinking civic and political participation». Transformative Works and Cultures, 10 (0), 13-29. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2012.0303

CABRERA-ESCOBAR, L. P. (2017). Audiencia y fandom televisivo en la web social. Tesis doctoral. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

CERTEAU, M. de (1984). The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: University of California Press.

CUESTAS, P. (2014). Conociendo el mágico mundo de Harry Potter: Sus fans, la relación con la obra y los vínculos que se tejen en el club de lectores. Tesis doctoral. Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

ESTABLÉS, M. J.; GUERRERO-PICO, M. y CONTRERAS-ESPINOSA, R. (2019). «Gamers, writers and social media influencers: professionalisation processes among teenagers». Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 74, 214-236. https://doi.org/10.4185/RLCS-2019-1328en

EVANS, A. y STATSI, M. (2014). «Desperately seeking methodology: New directions in fan studies research». Participations, 11 (2), 4-23.

FISKE, J. (1989). Understanding Popular Culture. Londres: Routledge.

GRANDÍO, M. del M. (2007). «Reflexiones sobre el estudio de las audiencias en España: carencias y retos de futuro». [En línea]. Sphera Publica: Revista de Ciencias Sociales y de la Comunicación, número extra, 1. Recuperado de https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=2799824 [Fecha de consulta: 29/07/2019]

GRANDÍO, M. del M. (2016). Adictos a las series, 50 años de lecciones de los fans. Barcelona: Editorial UOC.

GRAY, J.; SANDVOSS, C. y HARRINGTON, C. L. (2017). Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World. Second Edition. Nueva York: NYU Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt1pwtbq2

GUERRERO-PICO, M. (2016). Historias más allá de lo filmado: Fan fiction y narrativa transmedia en series de televisión. Tesis doctoral. Barcelona: Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

GUERRERO-PICO, M.; ESTABLÉS, M.-J. y MASANET, M.-J. (2017). «Fandom, perspectives renovadas». Palabra Clave, 20 (4), 847-855. https://doi.org/10.5294/pacla.2017.20.4.1

GUERRERO-PICO, M.; ESTABLÉS, M.-J. y VENTURA, R. (2017) «El Síndrome de la Lesbiana Muerta: mecanismos de autorregulación del fandom LGBTI en las polémicas fan-productor de la serie The 100». Anàlisi, 57, 29-46. https://doi.org/10.5565/rev/analisi.3110

GUERRERO-PICO, M.; ESTABLÉS, M.-J. y VENTURA, R. (2018). «Killing off Lexa: “Dead lesbian syndrome” and intra-fandom management of toxic fan practices in an online queer community». Participations, 15 (1), 331-333.

HARRINGTON, C. L. (1995). Soap fans: pursuing pleasure and making meaning in everyday life. Filadelfia: Temple University Press.

HAY, J. y COULDRY, N. (2011). «Rethinking Convergence/Culture: An Introduction». Cultural Studies, 25 (4-5), 473-486. https://doi.org/10.1080/09502386.2011.600527

HILLS, M. (2002). Fan Cultures. Londres: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203361337

HILLS, M. (2018). «An extended foreword: From fan doxa to toxic fan practices?». Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 15 (1), 105-126.

JANCOVICH, M. (2002). «Cult Fictions: Cult Movies, Subcultural Capital and the Production of Cultural Distinctions». Cultural Studies, 16 (2), 306-322. https://doi.org/10.1080/09502380110107607

JENKINS, H. (1992). Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. Londres: Routledge.

JENKINS, H. (2006a). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. Nueva York: NYU Press.

JENKINS, H. (2006b). Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture. Nueva York: NYU Press.

JENKINS, H. (2014). «Rethinking “Rethinking Convergence/Culture”». Cultural Studies, 28 (2), 267-297. https://doi.org/10.1080/09502386.2013.801579

JENKINS, H.; FORD, S. y GREEN, J. (2013). Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning In a Networked Culture. Nueva York: NYU Press.

JENKINS, H.; SHRESTHOVA, S.; GAMBER-THOMPSON, L.; KLIGLER-VILENCHIK, N. y ZIMMERMAN, A. (2016). By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism. Nueva York: NYU Press.

LEGAL ADVOCACY – ORGANIZATION FOR TRANSFORMATIVE WORKS (s. f.). Recuperado el 22 de noviembre de 2018 de http://www.transformativeworks.org/legal/

LEWIS, L. A. (1992). The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media. Londres: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203181539

MARTÍN-BARBERO, J. (1987). De los medios a las mediaciones: comunicación, cultura y hegemonía. Barcelona: Ediciones G. Gili.

MASSANARI, A. (2017). «#Gamergate and The Fappening: How Reddit’s Algorithm, Governance, and Culture Support Toxic Technocultures». New Media & Society, 19 (3), 329-346. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444815608807

PANDE, R. (2018). Squee from the margins: investigating the operations of racial/cultural/ethnic identity in media fandom. Tesis doctoral. Perth: University of Western Australia.

PÉREZ-GÓMEZ, M. A. (2016). El fan film: paradigma de la cultura participativa en el entorno de los new media. Tesis doctoral. Universidad de Sevilla.

PROCTOR, W. (2017). «“Bitches Ain’t Gonna Hunt No Ghosts”: Totemic Nostalgia, Toxic Fandom and the Ghostbusters Platonic». Palabra Clave, 20 (4), 1.105-1.141. https://doi.org/10.5294/pacla.2017.20.4.10

SCOLARI, C. A. (2009). «Mapping conversations about new media: the theoretical field of digital communication». New Media & Society, 11 (6), 943-964. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444809336513

SCOLARI, C. A. (2014). «Don Quixote of La Mancha: Transmedia Storytelling in the Grey Zone». International Journal of Communication, 8, 2.382-2.405.

SCOLARI, C. A. (2015). Ecología de medios: entornos, evoluciones e interpretaciones. Gedisa: Barcelona.

THOMAS, L. (2002). Fans, Feminisms and “Quality” Media. Londres: Routledge.

TURK, T. (2018). «Interdisciplinarity in Fan Studies». En: BOOTH, P. (ed.). A Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies. Nueva Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, INC, 539-551. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119237211.ch34

WANZO, R. (2015). «African American acafandom and other strangers: New genealogies of fan studies». [En línea]. Transformative Works and Cultures, 20. [Fecha de consulta: 04/08/2019] https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2015.0699

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM
Copyright (c) 2020 Marta Prego-Nieto