3 A’s of Affect
In her article titled Affective Economies (2004), Sarah Ahmed explains that affects are linked with emotions. She states that in this particular instance, emotions drive the relationship between the bodies and signs (117). That the objects of affections and those feeding into the affections generate the emotion and that it does not exist “within” or “without” individuals (117) She states that these emotions create relationships and boundaries between the object of affection and the person feeling the affection (117). Affect therefore, in this project, links to how emotions have an impact on the relationship between the celebrity and their superfan counterparts.
“In such affective economies, emotions do things, and they align individuals with communities—or bodily space with social space—through the very intensity of their attachments” (119). Ahmed effectively describes here, what this project itself demonstrates. To be a superfan means having a stronger affinity towards a fan object than what is termed as the fan. The relationship between the fan and the fan object is one that presents a lot of strong emotions. Because of these emotions, fans do indeed “do things” to situate themselves within this phenomenon known as superfandom.
Ahmed goes on to explain that emotions themselves generate capital which in turn increases the value of the object (120). What this means in terms of this project, is that the more emotion a superfan attaches to their fan object or celebrity, the more of an affect the celebrity will have on the everyday lives of their superfan. As superfandom is linked with higher emotions than regular fandom, this would link to the notion that superfans are indeed affected by their celebrities. This can be in multiple different categories. Whether it be in social, political or economic terrains, the superfan is likely to experience higher affects than the regular individual.
Superfandom is participatory in nature as Zoe Fraade- Blanar and Aaron M. Glazer explain in their book titled Superfandom (31), and this links directly with the understanding of affect and affective economies. For the purpose of this project, we will be analysing affect in a very specific way. This section of this website is dedicated to understanding how the celebrity has an affect of their superfan Through in depth immersion, I was able to find three main areas of impact or affect. These three affects present themselves constantly and consistently in this project.
The first affect is titled Activities, the second is titled Aesthetics and the final affect is called Attitudes. In order to understand what each one of these mean, you can click on each individual heading with the same name. Each category has an affect on the superfan of the celebrity but each subject I used displays one more prominently. Thus, they have been given their own space to be understood individually. However, when you meet the superfans in this project, you will be able to understand how they all present themselves.