Ambiguity and fandom: The (meaningless) consumption and production of popular culture



Date of this version


Document Type

Book Chapter


ambiguity; consumer culture; fandom; meaning; meaninglessness; popular culture


The purpose of this paper is to interrogate the concept of meaning and the meaning making process in consumer behavior. While the study of the consumption focuses increasingly on how consumers create meaning in a marketing dominated world, it views this process as relatively unproblematic. This paper challenges that perspective and argues that this process is inherently ambiguous.

Published in

The Routledge Companion to Digital Consumption

Citation/Other Information

Lanier, Jr., Clinton D., C. Scott Rader, Aubrey R. Fowler, III (2015), “Ambiguity and Fandom: The (Meaningless) Consumption and Production of Popular Culture,” in Research in Consumer Behavior: Consumer Culture Theory, Vol. 17, Anastasia E. Thyroff, Jeff B. Murray, and Russell W. Belk (eds.), London: Emerald, 275-293.