Neta Yodovich

  

  

Short Bio

Dr Neta Yodovich is a fellow researcher and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Haifa, department of Sociology. Her current research project is INVENT: European Inventory of Societal Value of Culture as Basis for Inclusive Cultural Policies. The project is conducted in nine countries and is funded by Horizon 2020. Neta completed her PhD in Sociology from the University of Manchester in 2020 after studying women’s reconciliation of science fiction fandom and feminism. Her previous papers about female fans and representations of singlehood in popular culture are published in SociologyWomen’s Studies in Communication and European Journal of Women’s Studies. Her academic interests include fandom studies, identity, feminism, and popular culture.

Field of Interests

fan studies, gender, feminism, identity

Dissertation Title

 The Feminist Side of The Force:  Women Negotiating Feminism and Star Wars Doctor Who Fandoms

Dissertation description

Inspired by Gay's Bad Feminist (2017), the main objective of this research is to examine how women negotiate feminism and fandom and explore whether feminist fans see themselves as "bad feminists" for enjoying contents that belittle or disregard women. Thirty in-depth interviews were undertaken with women between the ages of 19 to 55, who self-identify as feminist fans of Star Wars or Doctor Who. The broad age range provided a rigorous and comparative account of feminist fans from different generations, who might differ in their interpretations of feminism. Star Wars and Doctor Who were chosen due to their male-dominated fandoms, historical use of female characters as love interests, backlashes against new female protagonists, and longstanding success in popular culture. Findings reveal that feminist female fans experience feelings of inadequacy and inauthenticity when negotiating feminism and fandom. Despite taking part in numerous fannish practices, feminist female fans doubt their legitimacy and eligibility to identify as fans. Using Mead (1972) and Cooley's (1992) theories, in conjunction with belonging literature, the thesis explains that the reason feminist female fans doubt the authenticity of their identities is due to perceived and actual lack of approval by their "generalized other": male fans. Despite criticizing the representation of female characters in the object of their fandom during interviews, interviewees felt silenced and unable to share their readings of the diegesis in the fandom community for fear of exclusion. Employing de Certeau's (1984) concept of ‘tactics,’ the thesis reveals how feminist female fans reconcile feminism and fandom and attain a sense of agency despite their conditional belonging and dissatisfaction with unfeminist aspects in their favorite franchise.

 

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