Fandom audience and identity

Fandoms do not only develop around individuals, but can also develop around hobbies, fashions and/or genres. There are various interests that are common promoters of fandoms, for example, sports like football and various entertainment models like music and dance. In today’s world, these are the most common interests that garner a lot of fans. the activity itself and the individuals involved these activities. Fandoms have also come to be used to refer in a broad spectrum to social networks that have come about due to the advent of technology and social media. Social media like Facebook and Twitter have seen fandoms develop over a number of interests and individuals in an overlapping manner. In this sense, a fandom can be construed to represent people who are in a state of being fans and all that encompasses fan behaviour and culture, and the evaluation, investigation and study that goes into fandoms. Audiences are persons who are available to listen or spectate to an occasion that is graced by their centre of interest. There are many factors that lead people to become members of a fandom, and in this case, this paper is going to evaluate the factors that lead to fandoms associated with television (TV) crime programs. This will be in relation to its effects on empowerment, audience, place, identity, fan communication and culture. The factors that lead people to associate with TV crime programs are numerous and can be viewed from different perspectives depending on the fan(s) involved. Fan(s) are characterized by being enthusiastic followers of an activity like sport or entertainment. They can also be enthusiastic admirers of an individual(s) who represent something they love and respect. Fans involve themselves in various activities that help identify with a certain object or subject of their attention. Some of these activities include fan conventions where fans come together to exchange ideas and experiences that they relate with their subject or object of attention. Communication is vital to this interaction where archiving of detailed information pertaining to their given fan base is concerned. Terminologies have been developed with relation to these activities that fans involve themselves in an effort to form a defining niche that effectively identifies them. Fanzines are newsletters that are published and exchanged amongst fans of a defined fan base, which acts as an updating forum for the members (Thornham amp. Purvis, 2005:130). These forums can be internet based or in print where regular and up to date information pertaining to the subject of interest is available. Emerging trends that are as a result of the subject’s or objects’ influence are also availed through these forums. Fandoms have also been known to dress in costumes, an act that is called cosplay where fans recite lines of dialogue in-context or out of context as part of group re-enactment (Bignel amp. Lacey, 2005:106).Fan fiction is another element that is as a result of fandoms that develop around a character of interest, which translates to stories based on these characters’ lives or through direct or indirect inspiration. Fans also engage in activities like creation of fan videos and fan art that is focused on the source of their fandom. These activities are referred to as fan labour or fanac which is an abbreviation of fan activities. The advent of the internet has facilitated faster and easier interaction of fans from a wide range of