"Play with me!" Zhan jie as productive fans in the Chinese idol industry
Keywords:Chinese fans, Core fans, Data fetishism, Home masters, Participatory observation
With the spread of K-pop culture in China, home masters known as zhan jie have emerged. Zhan jie are productive fans who photograph their idols and post the pictures on social media platforms. Zhan jie are essential in fandom culture because they can help their idols consolidate and expand their fan bases. However, fandom studies have seldom focused on zhan jie, possibly due to the difficulties in reaching them. We employ participatory observation to examine how zhan jie as productive fans impact the Chinese idol industry. We reveal that zhan jie are professionals, acting as mediators who connect idols and fans. Finally, we sketch a new landscape of the idol industry, with zhan jie as mediators who adjust the relationship between idols and peripheral fans.
Copyright (c) 2023 Yuhang Zheng, Qing Xiao
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