Gender Politics and Mtv: Voicing the Difference

by Lisa A. Lewis; Temple University Press, 1990

The case of fan involvement in the American television program "Cagney and Lacey" received wide publicity.

During its run, the program's staff mailed a newsletter to its fans and frequently solicited their input. Hopkins also painted a picture of the authority inscribed in fan-club membership when he described the attention given to Elvis Presley fan clubs by Presley's personal manager and his record label:

The Colonel . . . has cultivated the fandom, regarding the clubs as the money in the bank they represent. The letters he sends the club presidents may be mimeographed, but they're full of news and come often; and RCA is instructed to send enough calendars, photographs and record catalogues for all the members. Whenever Elvis fans gather in convention, as they do in many parts of the world, the Colonel sends a telegram ( Hopkins 1972, p. 164).

While fan communities may organize effectively for control at the site of cultural production, as in the case of "Cagney and Lacey" and to an extent with "Crossroads," their affiliation can also take on meaning as a broader political action.

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