25 May, 2007


We have so far focused our discussions of fan culture in economical and technological aspects of cultural convergence. We acknowledge the significance of other aspects but due limited in length this essay will not extend its scope to cover them all.

Despite the fact that fan community are reluctant to directly influence commercialized media industry, corporate initiated changes are nevertheless driven by the altitude of fan participation; fan creativity is also more sensible than the media industry in response to (both the empowerment and restrictions of) newer technology, being more flexible to adopt them before the mainstream media. Such that the mainstream media become subject to the influence of fan culture, ‘[t]o some degree, fandom has already started to lose some of its distinctiveness as a subcultural community.’ (Jenkins 2006b)

An awful generalization of those consumers outside of fandom would indicate they are somewhat confirmed to the mainstream media culture (compared to - ‘Fandom is a vehicle for marginalized subcultural groups... to pry open space for their cultural concerns within dominant representations’ see Jenkins, 2006a). However in the age of convergence culture as fans gradually begin to lead the shifts within mainstream media, passive consumers must have unconsciously altered their pattern of consumption accordingly.

As opposed to the conventional notion of fans being ‘cultural dupes, social misfits, or mindless consumers’ (Jenkins 2006a), the above analysis (and many other academic research) suggests that fans are really the cultural leaders in reshaping the future media landscape. If in the past they have not succeeded was largely due to their inability to challenge commercialized media industry, they are now empowered by the ever expanding convergence culture.

Will fan culture ultimately become the mainstream and thus mark the end of cultural convergence? Such speculation is highly subjected to future trends though we suggest that since fandom is not a generalization of all subcultural groups; some fans remain cultural rebels as long as one finds it necessary. As such, convergence culture is a cyclical process of power struggle and contest for cultural leadership.


Jenkins, H. (2006a). Fans, bloggers, and gamers : exploring participatory culture New York, New York University Press.

Jenkins, H. (2006b). "When Fandom Goes Mainstream..." Confession of an Aca-Fan Retrieved 20 May, 2007, from http://www.henryjenkins.org/2006/11/when_fandom_goes_mainstream.html#more.

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