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Whose stories are they? Fans’ engagement with soap opera narratives in three sites of fan activity


Soap opera narratives are subject to multiple and conflicting claims of "ownership" about who is entitled to make evaluative judgments about quality. Our research examines how dedicated fans' claims are mediated within three sites: fan clubs, daytime magazines, and electronic bulletin boards. These sites differ in the frequency and visibility of fan interaction and in the degree to which fan discourse can be managed by producers, which in turn shapes social interaction among fans and the legitimacy with which they can assert claims to the narrative. ©1999 Broadcast Education Association.

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