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Patterns of surprise: the "Aleatory Object" in psychoanalytic ethnography and cyclical fandom

Hills, Matthew James 2005. Patterns of surprise: the "Aleatory Object" in psychoanalytic ethnography and cyclical fandom. American Behavioral Scientist 48 (7) , pp. 801-821. 10.1177/0002764204273169

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Abstract

This article studies one media fan’s consumption patterns, arguing that media fandom has been restrictively defined in cultural studies to date as a matter of faithfulness to singular fan objects. Contra such definitions, the article addresses cyclical fandom, wherein the fan-consumer constantly moves from one fan object to another, experiencing intense affective relationships to a variety of texts. This case study employs psychoanalytic ethnography to analyze such a consumption pattern, where the “surprise” of new fandoms is repeatedly sought. Christopher Bollas’s psychoanalytic concept of the “aleatory object” is used to interpret self-narratives of cyclical fandom.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Uncontrolled Keywords: fandom, individualism, media consumption, psychoanalysis
ISSN: 1552-3381
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 02:04
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/3990

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