- Series: Contemporary Ethnography
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (December 1, 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812213793
- ISBN-13: 978-0812213799
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth (Contemporary Ethnography) Paperback – December 1, 1991
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"Enterprising Women offers a picture of one of the few models around for female community and self-affirmation. Rather than accepting the passive female images and consumer values purveyed by most TV shows, women fan-fiction writers have adapted television to their own purposes."—Women's Review of Books
"Bacon-Smith's many years of skillful ethnographic research and lucid prose help nonfans understand the cultural and theoretical significance of the fan-produced fiction, artwork, and social relations that make fandom so cohesive and critically essential to its members. . . . Both males and females in communications, sociology, ethnography, psychology, and women's studies will benefit from this fine book."—Choice
About the Author
By Camille Bacon-Smith
Top customer reviews
From the perspective of someone who grew up on Fanfiction.net and LiveJournal kink memes its interesting to compare fan activities now vs then. The internet, as a single factor, has transformed nearly every facet of fandom explored in this text including zines and real life fan interactions (clubs and conventions). Its also fun to see pictures of 80s's Trek conventions and to hear about fans who laid the groundwork for fandom today.
But despite these differences, several observations ring true to me today, 20 years after this book was written. One is the risk inherent to fan fiction writing, not only with copyright issues but social issues around the slash (homosexual romance) and hurt/comfort genres. Another is the treatment of Mary Sue, a character archetype annoying to all who read her, but a label which is often leveled against competent female characters. Bacon-Smith makes a valid observation I think that many writers choose to write for male characters because its so hard to write an original female character that can't be accused of being a Mary Sue.
Regarding the author's conclusions, its difficult for me to judge simply because this study took place before I was born. Its a culture from a time that I can understand at least at surface level, but have never experienced first hand. Some conclusions seem oversimplified to me, particularly around motivation to write slash fan fiction. Read and decide for yourself.
On the whole this is a very worthwhile read for young fans who want to understand the history of the fan cultures and/or start thinking about fandom with some academic rigor.
Would recommend to anyone with an interest in Star Trek and/or cultural anthropology :)
Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth (Contemporary Ethnography)
Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (Studies in Culture and Communication)
At that time I had been in fandom just under 20 years. Like many others in fandom, I eagerly read both books.
Unfortunately, I was sadly disappointed by this book. Page after page, I shook my head in disagreement and wrinkled my brow in perplexity of the how-did-she-reach-*that*-conclusion variety. It simply did not represent my perspective of or participation in fandom, then or now.
I've read the book more than once since its publication, seeking to see if my view on it has changed, and it never has.
(On a related note, "Textual Poachers" has always engendered the opposite response in me.)