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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Elena Vivich
Cultural Participation of Russian Fandub Communities
Cultural Studies
(Bachelor’s programme)
2018
This thesis is devoted to the study of the of cultural participation based on the case study of the Russian fandub community. The concept of participation was introduced by Henry Jenkins in "Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture". This book, together with the works of Camille Bacon-Smith "Enterprising women" and John Fiske "The Cultural Economy of Fandom" gave rise to studies of the fan cultures. Fan "participation" in the cultural production implies that they borrow commercial product and creatively transform it with the expansion of the field of meanings. It is believed that fan communities are "active audiences" that destroy the vertical hierarchy of the producer and consumer.

The focus of this research is Russian community engaged in translations and dubbing of foreign songs. This community exists at the border of several fandoms: anime fandom, fandoms of Japanese voice synthesizer Vocaloid, video games, western cartoons, Korean pop bands. Fandub community is quite numerous, it includes from 50 000 to 100 000 members, aged from 12 to 40 years. Main points of interest include complex organization of the community, high degree of division of labor within it, and interaction between community and commercial structures. Methods of realization of participation by the fandub community are analyzed, as well as the effects provoked by them. Web ethnographic description of the fandub community allows us to address the key topics of modern fan participation discourse by analyzing particular forms which it takes today. The paper describes the development of the community, considering the transformations of its creative product. Labor relations and economic strategies within the community, as well as interaction with external commercial structures, are analyzed. Also, a description of community-specific self-identification strategies is given, which is important in the broader context of fan identification in general.

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