First Principles (or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Acafandom)

It famously (within my immediate family, anyway) took me six years to complete my doctoral dissertation on the Japanese female fandom of Hong Kong stars. There are any number of reasons why this was the case, including – but not limited to – the fact that, during the same period of time, I got married and produced not one, but two, children.

Yet, much as I’d like to pin the blame for my rather appalling time-to-completion on my (hell)spawn, that’s not the whole story. When I was in the process of working through the question that motivated my research – namely, why Japanese women became interested in Hong Kong stars in such droves – I kept bumping up against assumptions that underpin research of both female fans and transcultural fandom, yet were incompatible, in the main, with what my research was telling me.

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