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#PLLQueerTheory: Fans’ reactions to queer representation in Pretty Little Liars

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Pretty Little Liars is a television show popular with queer teen adolescent girls and emerging adult women who engage in conversation on Twitter. In this case study centred on the queer relationship between main characters Emily and Alison, the authors employ fandom studies and queer theory to analyse tweets about the show using the popular hashtags #Emison and #BooRadleyVanCullen. Findings reveal that queer young women used Twitter both to praise and critique the relationship and its homonormative constructs, resist heteronormativity surrounding the portrayal of Emily’s sexuality in particular, and create a sustainable queer community.
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Keywords: Pretty Little Liars; Twitter; fandom studies; lesbian; queer fandom; queer theory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000110887969Truman State University

Publication date: June 1, 2020

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  • 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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