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Title: Changing discursive formations from Supernatural : fanfic and the legitimation paradox
Author: Fathallah, Judith
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis argues that fanfic operates through a paradox of legitimation. Using the current cult text Supernatural (CW, 2006-) as a case study, discourse theory adapted from Foucault is utilized to establish that discursive formations from the source text can be de- and re-constructed, sometimes consolidating canon’s constructions, but at other times, altering Othered characterizations and criticising statements from canon. Paradoxically, however, this process utilizes and functions through the capital of the already-empowered: the White male Author (Jenkins 1995; Hills 2002; 2010a; Wexelblat 2002; Gray 2010; Kompare 2011; Scott 2011), and/or the White male protagonists of the series (c.f. Dyer 1992). The discursive formations studied are identified from the researcher’s situated position as fan- insider and academic (c.f. Hills 2002; Hodkinson 2005). They are judged to be of significance in the canon and fandom, and pertinent to the questions of power and Authority this study addresses. The methodology utilizes some techniques from network analysis (Park and Thelwall 2003) to chart the impact of fan-statements in an innovative fashion, using both quantitative and qualitative measures, whilst retaining insights from discourse theory to account for the specificity of fiction as a particular form of writing. In this way, the strength of statements, discursive boundaries, and techniques for alteration can be observed. The study concludes that, though the legitimation paradox cannot be unproblematically escaped or overcome, fanfic has begun to compromise it via deconstruction of the concepts of originality and authorship; and thus, from a postmodern perspective, the terms of the legitimation paradox can begin to be questioned.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN Literature (General)