COMM 123 Class 9 09/30/2013
Creative Consumers: Jenkins, Gladwell, Rand
Henry Jenkins (1958)
Professors at Annenberg West (USC)
Was a student of Fiske
In 2012 published 20 Anniversary Edition of Textual Poachers
How does his piece relate to Fiske?
Interested in the circulations of meaning and what exactly cultural pieces mean
They are both considered with constructing a cultural identity
“Fans construct their cultural and social identity through borrowing and inflecting mass culture images which
often go unvoiced within dominant media”
“Far from syncopathic, fans actively assert their mastery over the massproduced texts which provide the
raw materials for their own cultural productions and the basis for their social interactions” – Fiske p. 2324
Why the title “Textual Poachers”?
Fans are active participants who rustle with the textual meanings
“School children are taught to read for authorial meaning—to consume the narrative without leaving their
own stamp on it”
“Fans cease to be simply an audience for popular texts; instead they become active participants in
construction and circulation of textual meaning”
What are some of the popular stereotypes of fans?
Sports fan are a different category and they are viewed in a less negative perspective
Fans as obsessed and unable to separate reality from fantasy
No sense of life priorities because they are overly devoted to trivial thing
Fans are feminine in their obsessive fandom; men being emasculated in their fandom—infantilized adults
They are social misfits, dorky, etc.
Facebook as a form of fans of ourselves; twitter having followers
REFER TO LIST ON PAGE 10
How does gender play out fan stereotypes?
Sports fandom is seen as masculine and heteronormative Media fandom is very feminized; overtly sexual; hysterical fans who scream and throw things, such as
Beatle mania footage
Fandom may have a lifestyle limit—at what point can you be what kind of fan, etc.? Normalcy vs. abnormal
What does any of this have to do with “taste”?
Fans are bad at realizing when some things are not worth being fanatical about (i.e. reciting Shakespeare
vs. lyrics of spice girls)
Taste police think that fans are spending far too much time memorizing or engaging things that do not merit
the effort; they think people should engage with higher culture
Certain religious fanaticism is more tolerated than others and other forms of cultural fandom
“Fan cultures muddles these boundaries, treating popular texts as if they merited the same degree of
attention and appreciation as canonical texts” – Jenkins 17
People are constantly making taste distinctions, making a hierarchy; we all want to defend the culture we
are invested in they do so by using the hierarchy of higher critics
Why are fans “rogue” readers?
Because they do not obey as re