The Affective Economy and Online Fan Communities: A Case Study of Johnny & Associates

The Affective Economy and Online Fan Communities: A Case Study of Johnny & Associates

Nur Aliah Mansor (Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Malaysia), Rizalniyani Abdul Razak (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia), Zam Zuriyati Mohamad (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia), Norrina Din (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia), and Arbaiah Abdul Razak (Independent Researcher, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3042-9.ch006
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This chapter explores participation and co-production in affective media experiences in Johnny & Associates' online fan communities. Johnny & Associates is a Japanese all-male talent management company established in the 1960s. As a pioneer in the idol industry, Johnny & Associates and artists under its management have been highly influential in the contemporary Japanese entertainment industry. These artists are collectively known as Johnny's idols or Janīzu. Much of the data are collected through participant-experiencer and interviews. The originality of this case study stems mainly from the empirical data for Johnny & Associates, Janīzu, and the global fan base during Johnny & Associates' transition to a social media platform. This chapter analyses marketing strategy, audience awareness, and behaviour in relation to a mass media phenomenon. The complex interaction among Johnny & Associates, Janīzu, and fans generates tensions and contradictions that mirror the modern mediated life.
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The affective economy refers to an understanding of the emotional relationship that the consumer has toward exposure to a product and purchase decision (Jenkins, 2006). Affect involves stimulation, drives, motivations, emotions, feelings, sensations, or that which is experienced in a lived and embodied place and time (McStay, 2013). In short, it is corporeal. Affect is an umbrella term for a set of more specific mental processes, including emotions, moods, and possibly attitudes. Thus, affect might be considered a general category for mental feeling processes, rather than a particular psychological process per se (Bagozzi et al., 1999). In the context of this case study, affect also refers to emotional experience, the feeling of ease, well-being, satisfaction, excitement, passion, and even the sense of connectedness or community (Hardt, 1999, p. 96). Rather than defining affect philosophically, this case study defines the term from a marketing perspective.

Scholars who study marketing have viewed the affective economy as the desire to link brand meaning to symbolic consumption. This means that advertising involves a delicate balance between consumer passion and rationality expressed in terms of a movement among visual play, emotion, passion, nonsense, and a call to order (Oswald, 2010). In regard to the social media environment, affective intensity creates a sense of being desirable and having importance and a sense of making things matter (Paasonen, 2018).

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