What role does Hills (2004) suggest the fans play in the construction of cult TV? How is new media central to this?
- Fan culture
Fan culture research rose in the late 1980s, and then became the focus of media culture research. An American cultural scholar published his book “Text Poachers: TV Fans and Participatory Culture”, which has made a thorough study of fans of Star Trek series of science fiction dramas and is regarded as the classic founding work of fans’ research (Culbertson, 1993).
They believe that “infatuation, admiration or worship” alone is not enough to identify the characteristics of fans. Fans are not only regular viewers of specific programs, but also translate this viewing behavior into some types of cultural activities. They share ideas and feelings about the content of programs with friends, and even join the discussion community.
Famous scholar Fiske defines “fans” as excessive readers in Understanding Popular Culture. He believes that fans’ behavior is usually active, participatory and fanatical.
Fan culture is a kind of cultural form which depends on popular culture. Fan culture refers to the cultural consumption of an individual or a group, which is caused by the psychology of worship and applause for a virtual object or a real object in their hearts, and a comprehensive cultural media and society that generates excessive consumption and unpaid labor time for their favorite objects. The sum of cultural phenomena.
The Internet provides an open communication structure based on individuals. Such an open and decentralized network will be conducive to the formation of an open society and culture, thus forming a truly independent individual. New media play a key role for fans’culture to exert its productivity. Because of its low threshold, wide range of timely and rapid dissemination, and strong openness, micro-blogging, forums and post bars have become popular communication platforms for fans: providing huge resources to meet fans’ information needs for idols; strong interaction to draw fans closer. The distance between silk and idols; the virtual environment provides a place of communication for subcultural groups that are not accepted by the mainstream values. In this environment, contemporary fans and their cultural practices show many aspects.
- New media and fan culture are closely related
New media can be said to be the basis for the birth of a complete fan economy. Fan economy has greatly promoted the development and deformity of new media. In conclusion, the new media also called fan economy.
Fan economy generally refers to the business income-generating behavior based on the relationship between fans and followers. It is a business operation mode that gains economic and social benefits by enhancing user stickiness and by word-of-mouth marketing. Previously, most of the people concerned were stars, idols and celebrities, such as fans in the music industry to buy singer albums, concert tickets, and stars like or endorse products. Now, the Internet has broken through the constraints of time and space. Fan economy has been widely used in cultural entertainment, selling goods, providing services and other fields. With the help of a certain platform, merchants gather circles of friends and fans through a certain point of interest to provide fans with diversified and personalized goods and services, and ultimately convert into consumption, to achieve profitability.
Culbertson, H. (1993). Textual poachers: Television fans and participatory culture. Public Relations Review, 19(3), 307-308. doi: 10.1016/0363-8111(93)90051-d
Larsen, K., & Zubernis, L. S. (2012). Fan culture: theory/practice. Cambridge Scholars. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.aut.ac.nz/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat05020a&AN=aut.b16323506&site=eds-live
Hills, M. (2004). Defining cult TV; Texts, inter-texts and fan audiences, in R. C. Allen & A. Hill (eds) The Television Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge.