Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture by Henry Jenkins

By Henry Jenkins

"Get a existence" William Shatner instructed superstar Trek lovers. but, as Textual Poachers argues, lovers have already got a "life," a fancy way of life which pulls its assets from advertisement tradition whereas additionally transforming them to serve replacement interests.  Rejecting stereotypes of fanatics as cultural dupes, social misfits, and senseless shoppers, Jenkins represents media lovers as energetic manufacturers and expert manipulators of application meanings, as nomadic poachers developing their very own tradition from borrowed fabrics, in its place social neighborhood outlined via its cultural personal tastes and intake practices. Written from an insider's standpoint and offering vibrant examples from fan artifacts, Textual Poachers bargains an ethnographic account of the media fan neighborhood, its interpretive thoughts, its social associations and cultural practices, and its dating to the mass media and client capitalism.  Drawing at the paintings of Michel de Certau, Jenkins indicates how fanatics of superstar Trek, Blake's 7, the pros, attractiveness and the Beast, Starsky and Hutch, Alien state, dual Peaks, and different renowned courses make the most those cultural fabrics because the foundation for his or her tales, songs, movies, and social interatctions. Addressing either teachers and fanatics, Jenkins builds a strong case for the richness of fan tradition as a well-liked reaction to the mass media and as a problem to the manufacturers' makes an attempt to control textual meanings.  Textual Poachers publications readers via tough questions on well known intake, style, gender, sexuality, and interpretation, documenting practices and methods which try out and problem uncomplicated assumptions of latest media thought.

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Additional resources for Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (Studies in Culture and Communication)

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Media fan culture, like other forms of popular reading, may be understood not in terms of an exclusive interest in any one series or genre; rather, media fans take pleasure in making intertextual connections across a broad range of media texts. The female Star Trek fans discussed earlier understood the show not simply within its own terms but in relationship to a variety of other texts circulated at the time (Lost in Space, say, or NASA footage on television) and since (the feminist science fiction novels of Ursula LeGuin, Joanna Russ, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and others).

Yet, as chapter four will suggest, the Beauty and the Beast fans moved in and out of harmony with the producers, came to feel progressively less satisfied with the program narratives, and finally, many, though not all, of them rejected certain plot developments in favor of their own right to determine the outcome of the story. Such a situation should warn us against absolute statements of the type that appear all too frequently within the polemical rhetoric of cultural studies. Readers are not always resistant; all resistant readings are not necessarily progressive readings; the “people” do not always recognize their conditions of alienation and subordination.

Drawing on the work of Michel de Certeau, it proposes an alternative conception of fans as readers who appropriate popular texts and reread them in a fashion that serves different interests, as spectators who transform the experience of watching television into a rich and complex participatory culture. Viewed in this fashion, fans become a model of the type of textual “poaching” de Certeau associates with popular reading. Their activities pose important questions about the ability of media producers to constrain the creation and circulation of meanings.

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