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Matt Hills Auto Ethnography

In: Film and Music

Submitted By nshapir
Words 572
Pages 3
Matt Hills proposes that we do fan “auto-ethnographies” in order to understand the cultural and intellectual (and, perhaps, emotional) work done by cinéphiles. How does this attempt to address or shape some of the limits that he finds in many examples of fan culture? What makes his effort different than just being a fan, or hanging out with fans?

Matt Hills is proposing that fans should document their own culture (In this case, the object of their fandom) and let the public see what actually fuels and is brought about by their interactions/fandom, rather than just having the occasional random memes or fan stereotypes that get publicity be the only facet that is ever seen. These fan “auto-ethnographies” should be different from being or hanging out with fans in that you are actively informing people of each aspect of fandom, rather than just the superficial "wow this movie is so good" that you share with other people. Fan Ethnograpies emphasise the knowledge of a given fan. The main process of asking their audience, although it is a useful one, can end up being fairly detrimental. Fan knowledge is almost exclusively relied on, as well their own exposure to any relevant media. Fan communities also use at times stale narrative styles from pop culture to express their views.

Autoethnogrpahies are fan narratives, and by extension narratives of oneself. If outside fan ethnograpgies are limited by their view of what’s ‘real’ as defined by Hills, or by their one-sided outsider accounts of “regular” fandom as either a social phenomenon or a kind of coping mechanism (Fans escaping into their fantasy worlds because their life is missing something), auto-ethnographies are those that attempt to change these views. Autoethnographies don’t allow fandom to be over-simplified or individual fans to be pigeonholed. Autoethnographies don't just validate fans and incurred…...

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