Fan Culture & Obsession: Finding the Thin Line Between ‘Super Fan’ and ‘Stalker’

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… Title in progress …

Hi AUC students! My project will be focusing on, the good and the bad of fan culture or fandom, specifically in the music industry, and even more specifically in the K-Pop music industry. Kind of an exploration of these niche cultures, of fandom culture, and fanaticism in general. I hope to be able to:

  1.  give somewhat of a How To/Check Yourself guide in regards to appropriate fandom behavior,
  2. promote those who see dangerous behaviors like these to speak out/report the so-called ‘fans,’ and
  3. provide hope in the end that there are people working in favor of these artists to protect them.

There are levels as to what is appropriate in fandom, especially when you are a fan of real people such as a band or an actor. A good portion of fans understand this. Others do not.

And that’s how fans start to lose themselves in their fixations, endangering both themselves as well as the object (or, in this case, person(s)) of their fixation. There’s just… a lot that can (and does) go wrong. Far too often. As a little preview, feel free to check out the song “Dispatch” by Heize. The lyrics, as well as a corresponding short film, tell of a possessive side effect of K-pop fandom culture.

I had previously planned on focusing on the negative only in regards to this topic, but after some workshop discussion as well as some further research, I plan to offset these Horror Stories of Crazed Fans (of which I have many) with the story of my own journey through fandom. I don’t want to ‘prove that there are good fans out there’ or toot my own horn bragging that I’m a ‘good fan,’ but I came to the conclusion that it would be interesting to have fandom be analyzed and criticized by a member of a fandom community. My own perspective as a researcher will be completely different from that of an objective, outside-looking-in researcher based on my involvement with several fandom circles in general as well as the K-pop fandom currently.

I suppose for particular questions for you students… Would you say that you are a part of any fan communities, either online or IRL? How ‘deep’ would you say that you are in the community? Would you say that being a part of it has affected you in a positive way? A negative way? For those who participate in online fan communities, would you say that social media is a big part of participation, either with the creators of the content, other fans, or with the IRL celebrities?

Thoughts? Questions? Concerns?

Lay ’em on me!

Shared by: Masooch / Christina
Image Credit: Somewhere in Fandom

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1 Comment

  1. Merna ElShorbagy

    I’m currently not in any fan community, I have seen though one of the “bads” of super fans, although not related to the music industry, but the football industry. Fans tend to be very aggressive when it comes to sports especially football, they constantly argue, curse players from opposing teams and sometimes even from the team they support if the player plays badly or misses a shot. A real life example stalker fans went viral in Egypt when a growing number of fans found out where Mohamed Salah (football player) lives and went to his house to show love, but invaded his privacy.
    Here’s a link to the full story if you’re interested 🙂

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