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

Marta Prego-Nieto

Abstract

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.

Keywords

fan studies; fandom; epistemology; media cultural studies

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