Jenkins – Fandom Theory



Jenkins – fandom theory.

What is it?

Fans enjoy media texts so much that they create content based upon the text and form communities around it, which has been made even more possible due to the internet.

This is like the ‘prosumer’ term – a producer and consumer of content. It also links to media convergence – a coming together of lots of different media elements which can make a new product.

What is the advanced version?

Fans act as ‘textual poachers’ – taking elements from media texts to create their own culture. The development of the ‘new’ media has accelerated ‘participatory culture’, in which audiences are active and creative participants rather than passive consumers.

They create online communities, produce new creative forms, collaborate to solve problems, and shape the flow of media. This generates ‘collective intelligence’.

From this perspective, convergence is a cultural process rather than a technological one.

Jenkins prefers the term ‘spreadable media’ to terms such as ‘viral’, as the former emphasises the active, participatory element of the ‘new’ media.



Consider Minecraft and Stranger Things. To what extent have the fans of these products shaped and influenced the production of the text? What new content has been created?

Look for fan sites, commentaries, mash-ups and similar content. What value is added through the creation of these products?


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