Investors and Patrons, Gatekeepers and Social Capital: Representations and Experiences of Fans’ Participation in Fan Funding

Authored by: Francesco D’Amato

The Ashgate Research Companion to Fan Cultures

Print publication date:  September  2014
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409455622
eBook ISBN: 9781315612959
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043485


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The expression ‘fan funding’ refers to the participation of fans in cultural productions through financial contributions made to a specific project, in response to the request of a creative subject (individual or organization). This practice has grown exponentially since 2006 and was triggered by the participative web, in that the expression is generally used when the request for funds and the actual funding take place on the creative’s website or – as happens more often – on web-platforms specialized in offering fan funding services. Drawing on different exploratory studies conducted between 2010 and 2012 and on comparisons with other studies on the same topic, my aim is to provide some insights into how fan participation and relationships between artists and fans are represented in discourses and in value propositions regarding fan funding, how they are concretely articulated within fan funding practices, and how are they experienced by both parties involved. The observation of these aspects calls for the notion of social capital and the studies on web-mediated participative practices.

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