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Celebrating nostalgia or critiquing naivety: Reading pop music reunions through discourses of the fan life course

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This study explores how fans give meaning to pop music reunions through the lens of the life course. It does so through a content analysis of forum comments about TV series The Big Reunion, which reunites chart-topping music acts from the past decades. The fans interpret The Big Reunion in three modes closely related to their life-course position: first, now young adults, the fans read the reunion as a nostalgic phenomenon. Second, they consider the reunion as an ironic event. Third, they question The Big Reunion’s formula by reflecting on it through the prism of their current position in the life course. These readings reveal how the fans celebrate a nostalgic reflection on the pop acts of their youth; yet also offer a critique on their former, ‘na├»ve’ teenage/child-selves.
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Keywords: ageing; ironic reading; life course; nostalgia; pop music; reunion

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • The multi – disciplinary nature of fan studies makes the development of a community of scholars sometimes difficult to achieve. The Journal of Fandom Studies seeks to offer scholars a dedicated publication that promotes current scholarship into the fields of fan and audience studies across a variety of media. It focuses on the critical exploration, within a wide range of disciplines and fan cultures, of issues surrounding production and consumption of popular media (including film, music, television, sports and gaming), The journal aims to address key issues in fans studies itself, while also fostering new areas of enquiry that take us beyond the bounds of current scholarship.
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