Rolf by xuyuzhu


									American and Norwegian online fans’ perception of positive portrayals of Muslim
Arabs in 24: Textual poachers or ‘reactionary’ gamekeepers?

Media fans have in the two lasts decades gone from occupying a position in the margins to
entering the main stage in the transition from the analogue to digital era of media
consumption. In the analogue era fan studies explored localized resistances within fan
communities’ cultural practices, examining how this might lead to new understandings of
gender, sexuality, and race. Yet there has been less work that examines what consequences
fans’ cultural practices facilitated by digital media might have for the cultural politics of
poaching. This paper presents a reception study of online fans’ perception of positive and
heroic Muslim Arab characters in 24. Like the rest of the show’s regular cast, they should be a
main preoccupation for fans in their competing interpretations and evaluations of each
episode on online discussion forums where 24 is debated. The study includes a comparison
between how an online fan community in the US and one in Norway perceive
counterstereotypical Muslim Arabs in 24, and a textual analysis of online readings and
interviews with participating fans is carried out. Are the fans’ semiotic practices, like fan
studies have demonstrated repeatedly, manifested in progressive readings, or are there
instances where they instead could be considered reactionary?

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