“Fan” is ........ abbreviated form of “fanatic”, which has ........ roots in ........ Latin word “fanaticus”, which simply meant “belonging to the temple, a devotee”. But these words quickly assumed negative connotations, to the point of becoming references to excessive religious belief and to any mistaken enthusiasm.
Based on such connotations, news reports frequently characterize fans as psychopaths ........ frustrated fantasies of intimate relationships with stars or unsatisfied desires to achieve stardom take violent and antisocial forms. Whether viewed as a religious fanatic, a psychopathic killer, a neurotic fantasist, or a lust-crazed groupie, the fan remains a “fanatic” with interests alien to the realm of “normal” cultural experience and a mentality dangerously out of touch with reality.
To understand the logic behind this discursive construction of fans, we must reconsider what we mean by taste. Concepts of “good taste,” appropriate conduct, or aesthetic merit are not natural or universal; rather, they are rooted in social experience and reflect particular class interests. Taste becomes one of the important means by which social distinctions are maintained and class identities are forged. Those who “naturally” possess appropriate tastes “deserve” a privileged position, while the tastes of others are seen as underdeveloped. Taste distinctions determine desirable and undesirable ways of relating to cultural objects, strategies of interpretation and styles of consumption.
The stereotypical conception of the fan reflects anxieties about the violation of dominant cultural hierarchies. The fans’ transgression of bourgeois taste disrupt dominant cultural hierarchies, insuring that their preferences be seen as abnormal and threatening by those who have an interest in the maintenance of these standards (even by those who may share similar tastes but express them in different ways).
Adapted from: JENKINS, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. New York / London: Routledge, 1992. p. 12-16.
Select the alternative which correctly fills in the gap in the second paragraph.
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