Autobiographical reasoning in long-term fandom

  • C. Lee Harrington Miami University
  • Denise D. Bielby UC-Santa Barbara
Keywords: Age, Aging, Life course, Long-term fans


We explore the social psychological processes through which fan-based experiences become situated in fans' larger life narratives. Drawing on original survey data with long-term U.S. soap opera fans, we examine how the psychological mechanism of autobiographical reasoning functions in fans' construction of self-narratives over time. The case study presented here is a subset of a larger investigation into the age-related structure of fans' activities, identities, and interpretive capacities. Situated at the intersections of gerontological (life span/life course) theory and contemporary fan studies, our project mines relatively uninvestigated theoretical terrain. We conclude with a brief discussion of implications for future fan studies.