This article suggests considering a social facet of populism, focusing on the supporters, to grasp how they use media to engage with the populist message and their understanding of it. The article proposes that a fan studies approach can be useful to examine how populist supporters’ identification with the imagined community of pure people can help them address specific social-psychological needs. A study applying this approach to the Spanish populist far-right provides evidence that a fan studies framework can help understand populist supporters’ community-building processes and benefits. Then, the article explains the implications for research on populism using this approach, offering a guide for future research. This work is relevant to multiple areas including political communication and cultural studies.
|Number of pages
|Annals of the International Communication Association
|Published - 2021
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Thanks to Prof. Ben Toff for creating the space for me to develop these ideas during our independent study. I also wish to thank my advisor, Prof. Giovanna Dell?Orto, for encouraging me to study topics I am passionate about. I presented an early version of this work at the ICA conference and the Minnesota Journalism Center. I wish to thank everyone who provided me with feedback at these two venues. Among them, Prof. Christian Baden provided me with critical feedback that shaped this work. Finally, I want to thank the anonymous reviewers, whose suggestions greatly improved this article, and Dr. David Ewoldsen for his invaluable mentorship throughout this process.
© 2021 International Communication Association.
- fan studies
- mass media
- online media
- political communication