Sunday, February 5, 2012
Super Fans in PARADE
Writer Will Leitch wrote an intelligent PARADE Magazine cover story today on super fans. While I wish there was a bit more historical context (I am quoted briefly, but not about football's past), the piece does a good job highlighting some of the themes that seem to crop up again and again in fan studies: fandom is an extension of audiencing into everyday life, fans form a deep sense of community, fandom builds identity and friendships, etc. Leitch located and talked to actual fans, allowing them to explain their own behavior and avoiding the usual dismissive narratives of fans as dangerously pathological or superficially amusing. Good for him and for PARADE (which, let's be honest, is not known for the weight of its social analysis) in taking fandom seriously as a constructive social phenomenon.