Rethinking women’s guilty pleasures in a social media age: From soap opera to teen drama series | Intellect Skip to content
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Histories and New Directions: Soap Opera/Serial Narrative Research
  • ISSN: 2046-9861
  • E-ISSN: 2046-987X

Abstract

Fans of teen drama television series often feel that their pleasures are devalued. The history of research into soap opera fans (the genre from which teen drama series derive) tells us that this is unsurprising, as women’s popular pleasures have long been denigrated. Gaining global popularity in the mid-2000s, teen drama fandoms have almost exclusively played out on social media, and this article asks how fans’ experiences of their ‘guilty pleasures’ might have changed in a social media age. The article argues that two things remain unchanged: (1) the stubbornness of gendered and classed assumptions about ‘acceptable’ forms of culture and (2) the policing of behaviour within fandoms. But a noteworthy change lies in the norms themselves; that is, laborious and emotional fan practices are now more valuable than ‘likes’ and other social media metrics, a shift that undoes decades-old understandings of acceptable attachments to popular cultures.

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2022-06-01
2024-02-28
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): class; fandom; gender; popular culture; social media; teen drama series; television
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