Fans used to be seen as an overly obsessed fraction of the audience.
In the last few decades, shifts in media technology and production have instead made fandom a central mode of consumption.
A range of ideas has emerged to explore different facets of this growing phenomenon.
With a foreword by Matt Hills, Understanding Fandom introduces the whole field of fan research by looking at the history of debate, key paradigms and methodological issues.
The book discusses insights from scholars working with fans of different texts, genres and media forms, including television and popular music.
Mark Duffett shows that fan research is an emergent interdisciplinary field with its own key thinkers: a tradition that is distinct from both textual analysis and reception studies.
Drawing on a range of debates from media studies, cultural studies and psychology, Duffett argues that fandom is a particular kind of engagement with the power relations of media culture.