"The florals": Female fans over 50 in the "Sherlock" fandom


  • Line Nybro Petersen University of Southern Denmark




Aging, Benedict Cumberbatch, Fan studies, Gerontology, Mediatization, Sherlock Holmes, Subjective age


This article uses e-mail interviews with nine female fans to explore what it means to be a fan over the age of 50 of the popular BBC drama Sherlock (2010–). The research aims to better understand the role of fandom in later life, in particular how the participants in this study negotiate their perceptions of their subjective age in relation to being a fan in this part of their life course. This study combines theory on cultural gerontology with fan studies and mediatization theory in order to understand the dynamics and processes that guide fans' negotiations of subjective age as well as the role of fan practices and the affordances of social media in these processes. I argue that fandom, as a manifestation of a mediatized culture, augments the relevance of subjective age and informs the way in which participants in middle and later life perceive and negotiate their own subjective age specifically in relation to fandom as youth culture, women's passion, and creativity.

Author Biography

Line Nybro Petersen, University of Southern Denmark

PhD, Assistant Professor in Media Studies Currently part of a research project funded by the Velux Fundation about television and ageing