Beyonce Fan Ethnography Essay

4864 Words 20 Pages
Communication and Pop Culture | Dr. Dan Heaton Malcolm White 4-2-13

On March 18, 2013, Beyonce Knowles-Carter leaked a song called “Bow Down,” where she instructed all of her competitors to bow down before her. In her estimation, there was no competition, she was aware of it, and anybody practicing in her arena was aware of it too. More importantly, her legion of adoring fans knew it as well. The song leak served as a stark contrast to what Beyonce had recently become known for releasing. Instead of the ballads of romance, anthems of girl power, unity and triumph, or the militaristic pronunciation of confidence and ego, this track releases scathing criticism and pompous boast
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It was also very interesting how all analogous the stories were of how the fans joined the Beyhive. Nearly every person that I talked to, gave me a story that somehow went along these lines: “I first became a fan when I was a child. I listened to Beyonce before she became a solo artist, back when she was a card-carrying member of Destiny’s Child. I loved her (their) music because it was so uplifting and powerful, and made me believe in girl power. I stayed with her (Beyonce) when she left the group on her own. B was the promoted star of the group so it was natural for me to continue following her career. Beyonce is an inspiration to me, musically and professionally. She is such a great role model”

I found it very interesting that their fandoms all started similar ways and continued on down similar trajectories. The most common quote was reoccurring: the love of Beyonce stems from the level of inspiration the star provides as well as the strong work ethic she displays. I struggled to find a comparable circumstance among other fandoms where the fanaticism sustained over years and career developments, all the while evolving. For example, Justin Timberlake’s fan base in 2013 is not homogenously composed of N’Sync fans from 1995. It was

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simply peculiar to me. The one exception is the fan that became a fan only through the incessant

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