‘Elvis ain’t dead!’ an investigation into identification, fandom and religion

Lockyer, Sam (2010). ‘Elvis ain’t dead!’ an investigation into identification, fandom and religion. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


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This written defence accompanies an audio-visual documentary which aims to investigate the potential linkages between the three concepts of identification, fandom and religion by drawing on the phenomenally rich tapestry of Elvis fan culture. This investigation was achieved by the filmmaker’s immersion, as a non-fan, into the private world of the fan through encounters with several Elvis Tribute Artists and lifelong Elvis fans. The crucial questions addressed in the documentary include an investigation into the meaning of ‘identification’; the concept of fandom and identificatory fan practices and the reasons why we become fans and how this fandom is enacted during the fan’s life. The impact of Presley’s death on Elvis fandom is also debated with regard to possible connections between fan practices and religious behaviours. Most importantly, however, the idea that fandom is a universal concept is highlighted and fans are given the freedom to express their true feelings towards their idol Elvis Presley. As a result of the investigation we gain a greater understanding of the three concepts; their linkages and what it means to be a fan. In so doing any myths surrounding negative stereotypes of fans as obsessive and ‘Other’ are shattered.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/1261


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