“Saved!” by Jena Malone: An introspective study of a consumer's fan relationship with a film actress
While consumers have always been fascinated by the works and private lives of celebrities, some consumers experience a significantly more intensive level of admiration for a particular celebrity and, subsequently, become what are commonly known as fans. However, scant attention has been paid to how the relationship between fans and celebrities expresses itself in everyday consumer behavior. Thus, in order to explore celebrity fandom as a holistic lived experience from a fan's insider perspective, the lead author uses subjective personal introspection to provide insights into his private fan relationship with the actress Jena Malone. Drawing on narrative transportation theory, the study finds that a consumer's fan experiences may derive from one's personal engagement with the celebrity's artistic work and public persona. The latter is essentially the consumer's private intertextual reading of what s/he perceives to be relevant and ‘reliable’ media texts, which can result in a feeling of ‘knowing’ the celebrity like a personal friend — or even of ‘love’.
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