Patterns of Surprise: The “Aleatory Object” in Psychoanalytic Ethnography and Cyclical Fandom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article studies one media fan's consumption patterns, arguing that media fandom has been restrictively defined in cultural studies to date as a matter of faithfulness to singular fan objects. Contra such definitions, the article addresses cyclical fandom, wherein the fan-consumer constantly moves from one fan object to another, experiencing intense affective relationships to a variety of texts. This case study employs psychoanalytic ethnography to analyze such a consumption pattern, where the "surprise" of new fandoms is repeatedly sought, Christopher Bollas's psychoanalytic concept of the "aleatory object" is used to interpret self-narratives of cyclical fandom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-821
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Volume48
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

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