From Beatlemania to Bieber Fever: The Evolution of Celebrity/Fan Interactions
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 18:39 by Haley Coppins
Celebrities and fans have been researched by scholars throughout the years, with differing opinions regarding their characteristics and relationships. Prior to the development of the internet, fans were characterized by scholars as deranged, hysterical and passive. Their relationships with celebrities were seen as exclusively one-sided and parasocial. Conversely, since the development of the internet fans have been characterized more favourably as active participants. In this paper, I perform a textual analysis of Twitter conversations between bands/artists and fans in an attempt to better understand if and how celebrity-fan interactions have changed from early scholarly interpretations. I argue that Twitter is changing celebrity-fan interactions, not only by encouraging reciprocal interactions but also by enabling more personal, intimate conversations. Twitter is allowing bands and fans to interact in a number of different ways that simultaneously build relationships and serve commercial functions such as promotion. Fans have become more actively involved in content production and powerful in influencing the way bands promote themselves. Used properly, Twitter can be a valuable tool for bands and artists to market themselves.