Within your breakout room, describe your interpretation of the quote from Grossberg's and Ito's essays. Assign someone in your room to discuss the interpretation when we rejoin the full class session.
Lawrence Grossberg, “Is There a Fan in the House?: The Affective Sensibility of Fandom,” in The Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media, ed. Lewis, Lisa A. (London: Routledge, 1992), 50–65.
For many years, the only alternative to this image of fans as cultural dopes came from various arguments that divided the audience for popular culture into two groups: the larger segment is still seen to be cultural dopes who passively consume the texts of popular culture. But there is another segment, much smaller and more dispersed, who actively appropriate the texts of specific popular cultures, and give them new and original significance (51).
Consequently, for the fan, popular culture becomes a crucial ground on which he or she can construct mattering maps. Within these mattering maps, investments are enabled which empower individuals in a variety of ways. They may constitute relatively stable moments of identity or they may identify place, which because they matter, take on an authority of their own (59).
Empowerment is an abstract possibility; it refers to a range of effects operating at the affective level. It is not synonymous with pleasure; nor does it guarantee any form of resistance to or evasion of existing structures of power, although it is a condition of the possibility of resistance (64).
Mizuko Ito, “Japanese Media Mixes and Amateur Cultural Exchange,” in Digital Generations: Children, Young People, and New Media, ed. David Buckingham and Rebekah Willett (Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2006), 49–66.
“Now the Internet has emerged as a privileged technology of social organization and exchange as fans communicate over blogs and bulletin boards, share media over file-sharing sites, and sell amateur works over auction sites such as eBay. This lateral peer-to-peer social organization represents both an evolution of existing fan groups, as well as an expansion of fanlike cultural identity to a broader demographic” (51).
“Specifically, otaku culture destabilizes certain key socialcultural categories: the distinction between professional and amateur cultural production, the commodity form of media, aged-based boundaries for media consumption, and normative forms of gender and sexuality” (55).
“I am interested in how doujinshi production and exchange, even in the pre-Internet era, represent the activist participatory media cultures that are proliferating in tandem with the spread of digital media. In a sense, they are prototypical of niche communities of disenfranchised youth who are mobilizing through the Internet to create communities of interest to challenge elite and adult sensibilities” (62).