Fandom As Religious Argument

Pages: 3 (693 words) / Published: Oct 5th, 2017
Examples, such as these, are the type of phenomena scholars of fan studies encounter. These scholars recognize the overwhelming emotion generated by celebrity, note fan sentiments, and lacking the tools to describe emotion and the structure and purpose of fandom, decide, “It’s a religious thing” (Doss 1999, 72). As a credit to these scholars, fans use of religious language complicates matters and if one is to focus on that, you miss the purpose of this language. This first stream of celebrity music fandom-as-religion literature demonstrates the type of argument many scholars favor when encountering expression of fan sentiment, fan action, and the structural and functional purpose of fandom. A second, smaller, stream of literature aligns or characterizes fandom as a cult, sometimes literally, while a third stream challenges the celebrity music fandom-as-religion argument. This …show more content…
Rodman’s Elvis after Elvis: the posthumous career of a living legend, originally his dissertation, is one such substantive work on the posthumous Elvis phenomenon and a book that argues there is something exceptional, even religious, surrounding Presley. Rodman contends Presley articulates a point of cultural formation, that is, Presley is the point of articulation of twentieth century culture. While a lofty claim, his argument does have some merit. For example, Rodman states that Elvis’ 1956 appearance on the Milton Berle Show, which provided a full-body view of his “lewd” dance moves, created youth culture—something that bonded youth and perplexed the older generation (1996, 152-157). Elvis as the point of articulation is important to understand Elvis as set-apart from other dead

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