By Keith M. Johnston
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Extra info for Science Fiction Film: A Critical Introduction
7 Genre fandom is a continual process of negotiation, not just with the original texts, but with the expansion of textual properties into sequels, computer games, books, comic strips, Internet sites, mobile phones and across other merchandising opportunities. The move from textual analysis to analysis of how viewers interact with their favourite genre texts also engages with the other theoretical positions discussed above. Jenkins notes how female fans of Star Trek used printed fanzines to debate whether the show presented a masculine ideology, or if there was space within both the episodes and the larger fan culture, to make a claim for sexual equality.
Such work becomes its own form of textual analysis, where the analyst has to perform a reading of the accumulated data, translating it into more academic language and potentially losing aspects of that discourse in the process. This can lead to charges of generalization but it does allow mediated access to what genre audiences are thinking: those audiences can only be partial, one online element of a larger picture but they do allow some conclusions to be drawn. Studying the audience and reception of genre films is a different methodological endeavour than the narrative and textual analysis that dominated the initial three approaches.
Created almost exclusively by female Star Trek fans, this incarnation of fandom challenges the larger cultural assumption that science fiction fans are predominantly male; an assumption that the growth of the Internet has further exploded. More than half of all Internet users are now female, and the growth of social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter has increased the virtual possibilities of discussing fan texts such as Star Trek, Star Wars and The X-Files, as well as opening up new portals for sharing fan-produced videos, stories or artwork (Rogers 2009).