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Title: Fandom and the Internet : growing up with Friends and Friendscafe
Author: Akthar, Iqbal
ISNI:       0000 0001 3403 9999
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2008
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This research is based on twelve months conducting virtual ethnography within a fan community. This thesis looks at the fans' online and offline performances, showing how young people 'grow up' with new media. Focusing on the internationally popular American sitcom, Friends, this research examines how fans discuss the show on the Friendscafe website, and how they relate the show to their everyday lives. I explore what it means to be become an adult within a sitcom and a web-fan-community. As I worked on this project for nearly four years, I too have 'grown' with the young fans and with the show. I have observed how the young fans developed in maturity - similar to the characters' own trajectories in the show. Next I introduce the idea of exploring identities between online and offline spaces which I call the fan-spiral. I trace the movement of fans between online and offline arenas. I explore how fans perform online and then offline and return to the forum to talk about the real experiences they encounter in their everyday lives. This discovery contributes significantly to the studies of fan culture as it stresses that the Internet has changed the way we look at fandom.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available