This chapter has shown that a text can be anything from a film to an athlete to an event, and that fans interpret texts in relation to other texts, and also in the wider context of their life and society at large—in much the same way that representations of institutions and groups of people are dependent on a number of factors. Hierarchies and hegemonies are often built on so-called common-sense attitudes (Barthes 1993), which are often ideologically driven rather than signs of a natural order of things.
In fan studies discourse, fan cultures and fandoms are often viewed as potentially driven by an urge to resist these hegemonies, and they therefore pose a threat to established society. However, in the era of social media, neoliberalist values are reinforced through the very design of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the ideal citizen in this context is an entrepreneur dealing largely in selfpromotion. Since fans, from the point of view of brands and large corporations, through their social media activity have become more visible as a market segment, they have also been elevated to key consumers. There is, therefore, a conflict surrounding the representation of fans—as in some contexts fans are desirable and in some they are viewed as a threat to the established order.