Enthusiasm, trust and its erosion in mediated politics: On fans of Obama and the Liberal Democrats

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11 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the interplay of political enthusiasm as a form of fandom and the creation and disappearance of trust as a result of the evolving relationship between fans and their objects of fandom. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with supporters of Barack Obama and the UK Liberal Democrats, the article illustrates how the bond between fans and their political fan object is built in the highly polysemic environment of convergence media in which audiences actively construct textual boundaries. Based on projective and self-reflective readings, enthusiasts of given political causes, actors or parties thus build an affective attachment to their fan object which allows for the creation of trust in its perceived proximity. If such readings become unsustainable over time, this affective bond and its associated levels of trust are eroded.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-81
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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