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Sherlock fans talk: Mediatized talk on tumblr

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In this article I propose that we can understand talk and conversation in Sherlock (2010) fandom on the micro-blogging site tumblr in three ways: (1) talk through appropriation, (2) talk through interpretation and (3) talk through imitation, and that we can see these through examples of mediatized talk. Sherlock is a popular 90-minute BBC TV series about Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, John Watson, in a contemporary setting. I apply mediatization theory to analyse how specific media logic and affordances shape the way in which fans talk and interact on this social media platform. Furthermore, the analysis includes theory from fan studies and audience studies in order to understand the cultural logic of fan communities, as mediatization is understood as a non-linear, dual process of transformation. Fans use textual narratives, fan-made narratives, popular memes and role playing when carrying out conversations. When these fan practices are intersected with the media logic and affordances of tumblr, conversations become complex, textually layered and use a variety of technological expressions, and, as such, these conversations become mediatized.
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Keywords: Sherlock; affordances; conversation; fandom; media logic; mediatization; tumblr

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Southern Denmark

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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