’The Book of Stars’: Some Alternative Insights into Celebrity Fandom

Markus Wohlfeil, Susan Whelan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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While consumers have had a keen interest in the works and private lives of celebrities since the dawn of the Hollywood star system in the early 1920s, some consumers experience a significantly more intensive level of interest and 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 behaviour. This paper is taking an existential-phenomenological perspective to discuss fan behaviour as a holistic personal lived experience from a fan’s point of view. By using subjective personal introspection, the lead author provides hereby insights into his private lived consumption experiences as the fan of the young and talented actress Jena Malone, which were obtained and recorded as contemporaneous data over a period of 15 months. In doing so, the paper demonstrates how drawing on narrative transportation theory may provide a deeper understanding on the nature of celebrity fandom. The study found that a consumer’s fan experiences derive from one’s personal engagement with the celebrity’s artistic work and public persona, which is essentially the consumer’s personal intertextual reading of what s/he perceives to be relevant and reliable media texts.
Original languageEnglish
Pageson USB
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event2008 Annual Academy of Marketing Conference - Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jul 200810 Jul 2008


Conference2008 Annual Academy of Marketing Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • celebrity fandom
  • Film star fandom
  • experiential consumption
  • Narrative transportation theory
  • autoethnography
  • introspection
  • introspective research
  • fans
  • fandom
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Consumer Culture Theory
  • Subjective personal introspection

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