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Stevens, Carolyn S. "You Are What You Buy. Postmodern Consumption and Fandom of Japanese Popular Culture." In: Japanese Studies 30.2 (2010), S. 199–214.
|Resource type: Journal Article
BibTeX citation key: Stevens2010c
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Keywords: Fankultur, Japan, Populärkultur, Postmoderne
Collection: Japanese Studies
In recent years, Japanese popular culture has received much attention both inside and outside the academy. Its success overseas has contributed to theories of transnational cultural flow, ‘soft power’ and ‘Gross National Cool’. At the same time, public opinion of fans, both in Japan and overseas, remains low. This article attempts to rescue fandom from its current association with social ostracism, placing it instead in a logical structure of a historical consumer culture in Japan and in the West. Fandom can be considered a rational consumer strategy, rather than a deviant psychological attribute, when considered within the hyper-developed context of a media-saturated, late-capitalist consumer society. Fandom, when viewed from this perspective, can be distinguished from pathological behaviour and focuses on pleasure, the pursuit of social capital, and individualised identity building, especially in a society where traditional corporate groups such as the family or the workplace no longer offer the same attraction.
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