Doctoral program,Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies
The University of Tokyo
homosociality, friendship, Johnny's idol, fan culture, Taiwanese female fans
This paper investigates how Taiwanese female Johnny's idol fans interpret the homosociality of Johnny's idol members (all of them are male) and try to use this as a model for constructing friendly relationships between female fans community members.This is important because until now it has been argued that male homosociality played a significant role in society but female homosocial desire was regarded as being invisible because heterosexual and family relationships took priority.
The interview data of 13 Taiwanese Johnny's female fans were analyzed. The 13 interviewees were between 20 and 40 years of age. All but one of them were single. Focus group interviews and participant observation were used for collecting qualitative data. Focus group interviews in the form of discussions were conducted from May to August 2010. Major topics designed for interview questions were: fan experience in group relationships, interpretation of Johnny's idol, and out group relationships.
This research discovered that female fans regarded the relationship between Johnny's idol members as a strong and unchangeable "kizuna" (bonding) and defined this as "friendship". Moreover, female fans used the homosociality of Johnny's idol members as a model for constructing a similar relationship between female fan community members.
Further research will be needed to investigate other female communities besides the Johnny's female fan community to look into alternative possibilities of construction of female homosociality besides imitating male homosociality.