Fandom in Popular Culture Essays

Words: 1329
Pages: 6

River Steinberg
Fandom in Popular Culture Everyone is a fan of something. Whether it’s a sports team, celebrity, or television show there is at least one thing that a person enjoys to partake in, talk about, etc. Yet when does becoming too much of a fan – or a fanatic – become a problem? This question raises concern because recently many different fan bases or fandoms of certain movies, books, etc. have been criticized over the last decades due to their extreme dedication and obsession. Some people think that these fan bases and their lifestyles are unhealthy, that these fanatics choose to avoid reality and instead dedicate their life to something that does not return anything rewarding or productive to society. Trekkies attending
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In its most basic form, being a fan of something just makes people happy. The reason why I love reading the Harry Potter books repeatedly or why a Trekkie will attend numerous conventions is because doing it makes us happy – it does not make us obsessive, crazy fanatics. According to the mood management theory, individuals seek out media content that they expect to improve their mood (Burns). Millions of people do not become fanatics of something purely for the enjoyment of it but rather because it has a positive effect on their mood. This explains many fanatic behaviors, like fan fiction for instance. This is when a fan will write their own version of the story, movie, video game etc. that caters to their own desires. They do this because it makes them happy and makes them feel apart of the fandom community. On the other hand, there are many instances where fandom or fanaticism can be taken to the extreme. There are numerous stories of when fans at football games break out into a violent riot, or when a fan physically harms others or themselves to attract attention to themselves – an example including Mark David Chapman, a Beatles fan, murdering John Lennon. But is it really their fanaticism to be blamed? This question should be asked due to the fact that many aspects can influence a person’s decisions, one being their psychological stability. Being a fanatic did not make Chapman a murderer;