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Home arrow Sociology arrow Fans and Fan Cultures: Tourism, Consumerism and Social Media
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In contemporary discourse, the fan is seen as an active consumer and a lucrative market segment for sport and media brands—and in our post-subcultural era, many countercultures have been rendered harmless through their incorporation into mainstream culture. The idea of fans as potential instigators of hegemonic upheaval is largely utopian in a capitalist consumerist society context. In line with Baudrilliard (1998) we argue that the urge to be a good consumerist citizen results in an anxiety-driven experience economy, where the fear of missing out on the extraordinary is a key motivator in everyday life—where consumption is seen as a duty.

Fans are seemingly gaining more and more power as consumers, and it is within the consumerist paradigm that fans have the opportunity to perform agency. This indicates that, at best, fans are able to affect popular culture media content as long as it does not threaten the dominant structures and hierarchies. Fandoms are still important as spaces for transformative work—but it is likely that this work serves as a means to coping with existing discriminatory systems rather than fully resisting them.

 
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