- Series: Studies in Culture and Communication
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (July 23, 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415905729
- ISBN-13: 978-0415905725
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,069,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture (Studies in Culture and Communication) 1st Edition
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Drawing on a rich theoretical background with sources ranging from feminist literary criticism to cultural anthropology, [Jenkins] applies and adapts Michel de Certeau's model of poaching, in which an audience appropriates a text for itself. Taking a stand against the stereotypical portrayal of fans as obsessive nerds who are out of touch with reality, he demonstrates that fans are pro-active constructiors of an alternative culture using elements poached and reworked from the popular media.
Journal of Popular Culture
Drawing on a rich theoretical background with sources ranging from feminist literary criticism to cultural anthropology, [Jerkins] applies and adapts Michel de Certeau's model of poaching, in which an audience appropriates a text for itself. Taking a stand against the stereotypical portrayal of fans as obsessive nerds who are out of touch with reality, he demonstrates that fans are pro-active constructors of an alternative culture using elements poached and reworked from the popular media.
Journal of Popular Culture
About the Author
Henry Jenkins is Assistant Professor of Literature at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Top customer reviews
"Textual Poachers" emphasizes how fans of various television shows and movies have embraced the characters and "universe" of the shows and made them their own. In most cases they participate in the continuing saga of the characters of the story by fashioning their own narratives based on the series. Be far the most famous of these participatory series is "Star Trek," which was the first series to attract this type of fan following, and still the largest of all of them. It has spawned not only multi and varied clubs for those interested in the ideals of the series, but also inspired a range of creative responses in art, literature, costume, engineering, erotica, music, and drama. In so doing, those that are a part of the fan culture of the series emphasize the interplay of the crew "family" aboard the Star Ship Enterprise, the ideals of the United Federation of Planets, and the challenges of moving beyond the humdrum of existence on Earth to a more exciting and rewarding life within the broader cosmos. The ranges of responses are almost as broad as the number of people involved, and Henry Jackson makes clear that all of those responses are legitimate in the "universe" of fandom.
Jenkins writes at length about the responses of fans to several television programs beyond the famous "Star Trek" phenomenon. These include "Alien Nation" (1989-1990), "Dr. Who," (1963- ), "Magnum, P.I." (1980-1988); "The Man from Uncle" (1964-1968), "Remington Steele" (1982-1987), "Simon and Simon" (1981-1988), "Twin Peaks" (1990-1991), and others. But the series fans that Jenkins spends the most time analyzing are those attracted to "Beauty and the Beast" (1987-1990). The romance between Catherine (Linda Hamilton) and Vincent (Ron Perlman) captured the imagination of a larger number of viewers and they used that on-screen relationship as the cultural materials from which they created a vast array of "stories, songs, videos, and social interactions." It proved a powerful inspiration for enormously romantic depictions.
Henry Jenkins also draws attention to the fact that the vast majority of those a part of this fandom, are white, middle-class women seeking something more than they experience in their everyday lives. They seem drawn to television series with compelling characters interacting in a sophisticated manner. They emphasize relationships and tend to soft-pedal action and adventure in their formulations. At sum they seem to be creating through their efforts a place of refuge, acceptance, and intimacy for themselves and their co-participants. This is captured well in a song, "In My Weekend-Only World," written by T.J. Burnside Clapp to express her love of the fan conventions that she attends:
"In an hour of make-believe
In these warm convention halls
My mind is free to think
And feels so deeply
An intimacy never found
Inside their silent walls
In a year or more
Of what they call reality.
In my weekend-only world,
That they call make-believe,
Are those who share
The visions that I see.
In their real-time life
That they tell me is real,
The things they care about
Aren't real to me." (p. 277)
Henry Jenkins' study is a superb analysis that will change the perspective all who read it about the fan culture and its place in modern society. It is difficult not to emerge from reading this book without a sense of wonder about the talented individuals who are a part of this fan culture and how they seek to live their lives on their own terms, in the process creating for themselves idealized "universes" more like those they glimpsed in the television fictions that they embrace.