Browsing Faculty of Arts and Media by Publisher "Ashgate"
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Celebrity: The return of the repressed in fan studies?This chapter begins by examining the development of a fan studies mainstream as a process of marginalization of attention to celebrity. It then considers how deductive areas of fan research have also inadequately conceptualized celebrity attachment. Using Gary Boas and Richard Simpkin as examples, the chapter then shows that there are subtle differences between fandom and celebrity following per se. It reaches its climax with a discussion of effervescence: a useful explanatory mechanism from Emile Durkheim’s theory of religion that helps to account for the pleasures of following celebrities. Finally, the chapter contrasts a neo-Durkheimian approach to fandom with some classic and contemporary research on parasocial interaction. I suggest that focusing on fan motivation and affect – perhaps through a refashioning of Durkheim’s work – may help us escape the long shadow of the mass culture critique.