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Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth
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Enterprising Women: Television Fandom and the Creation of Popular Myth

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  12 reviews
"Enterprising Women offers a picture of one of the few models around for female community and self-affirmation. Rather than accepting the passive female images and consumer values purveyed by most TV shows, women fan-fiction writers have adapted television to their own purposes."--Women's Review of Books "Bacon-Smith's many years of skillful ethnographic research and lucid ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 1st 1991 by University of Pennsylvania Press (first published January 1991)
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Despite the controversy in the fan community surrounding this book--particulary among fans who feel that Bacon-Smith selectively edited and even distorted their words--I have to say that her observed experiences in fandom tallied with my own more often than not. Especially at the time of her writing, there were very few sympathetic treatments of the fan community, and even fewer studies where the author had anything more than a cursory knowledge of fandom.[return][return]Fandom has changed a gre ...more
Roxana Chirilă
Aug 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the first books on fandom (and one of the first), focusing on fandoms such as Star Wars and Blake's 7. While one can tell that Bacon-Smith is an outsider who doesn't really become one of the fans herself, her "snapshots" of fan realities back in the day are quite precious, especially to someone who became a fan in the age of the internet (like, say, me). ...more
Tara Brabazon
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a cultural studies classic monograph and well worth that title. Deploying ethnography, Bacon-Smith investigates female fan communities. The conventions, the costumes, the fan fiction, the friendship. It is methodologically successful and theoretically considered. It offered a critique of Henry Jenkins and textual poaching, particularly with regard to female sexuality.

I have read all of the fan studies research published in the last 5 years. Most of it is absolutely dire, simple, anti-the
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating history of the women who built early Star Trek fandom, particularly those who wrote fanfic; created fanvids, fan art and filk music; and took part in cosplay. Bacon-Smith spends a lot of time speaking to women from various walks of life who took part in these fan activities through the late 1980s, learning about their backgrounds, processes and what made them want to be creators in the fandom.
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
This is an ethnographic study of female fandom. It's pre-internet, published in 1992, so in some ways it's amusingly out of date. Still, as someone who's been part of female fan communities off and on since 1997, I think Bacon-Smith has basically captured what makes us tick; we're nerdy outsider women who enjoy certain shows, certain movies, certain books, and certain characters and we want to play with them -- and the bonus is that we're able to find others who speak the same language. And I th ...more
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fandom, non-fiction
Written at about the same time, and covering the same subject, as Henry Jenkins' seminal Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, this book at first appears to be a more dry and academic treatment of the same subject. In fact, it is a much more detailed and in-depth study of the community and the products it creates, including the psychology behind them and the culture they construct. An excellent if slightly dated read for anyone interested in fans, fandom, and fan fiction, ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very similar in structure and content to Textual Poachers. Also published in 1992 and therefore contains no information on the X-Files Internet fandom phenomenon. This one was also full of underlining from my previous reading and again I underlined a bit more. I only had three fandoms X-Files, Starsky & Hutch and The Professionals. I have read some Star Trek and like TP, this book is mainly about Trek fandom. Excellent source book about a subject with few well researched histories. I did a littl ...more
Enterprising Women es una de las obras fundacionales de los estudios de fans y tras haberla leído entiendo porque. Al igual que Jenkins en Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, Baco-Smith hace un trabajo increíble en intentar explicar y teorizar sobre un fenómeno que era totalmente desconocido por la academia. Obviamente, desde su publicación muchas cosas han cambiado y el texto se encuentra en muchas partes desfasado, pero al mismo tiempo permite contextualizar corrientes ...more
Jen Show
Dec 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is one of the defining texts of the academic study of fan culture, and remains near the top of my list of favorites. Before Henry Jenkins came along and made socially and academically acceptable to be an "aca fan", Camille Bacon-Smith paved the way with passion, thoughtfulness, and a lot of honest interviews. The text was written during a time when fan created works were relegated to the underground zine market or clandestine conventions, which makes for an interesting contrast with the fre ...more
Jules Jones
Jul 28, 2010 rated it did not like it
Given the poor quality of the research in the fandom I know from the inside, I'm disinclined to trust the research on the other fandoms covered in the book. There are also hearsay reports that the author did not obtain consent to publish some of the personal statements quoted in the book. ...more
Ginger K
A snapshot of tv fandom from when physical mailing lists were still the order of the day. Some of her theories into the culture of female fandom are insightful and interesting and others miss the mark, but either way they're worth reading. ...more
Nov 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sachbuch
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