Steven Bailey examines the role that various forms of mass media fandom play in the construction of social identities. Using a unique combination of media and cultural theory, neo-pragmatist philosophy and psychoanalytic theory, he argues that a new model of social selfhood is needed for a fuller understanding of the fan experience. This theoretical model is then deployed in three ethnographic case studies, covering very different groups of fans: underground film 'freaks', the 'Kiss Army' fans of a popular hard rock band , and web-based aficionados of the cult television programme Futurama. Through these case studies, Bailey examines practices of identity construction and performance unique to the world of media fans, and illustrates the peculiar power that mass media can have for questions of social identity.

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