Soundtracks of acrobatic selves: Fan-Site religion in the reception and use of the music of U2
journal contributionposted on 06.03.2012, 14:00 by Clive. Marsh, Vaughan S. Roberts
This article addresses the question of how responses to the arts and popular culture, as mediated through on-line fan activity, may contribute to the development of religious/spiritual exploration in contemporary Western societies. It offers a critical reading of 40 short essays posted by fans of the rock band U2 on a fan site from the perspective of how respondents expose their personal, critical reflections on their developing selves. The function of the U2 songs reflected upon, the listeners’ responses, the strategies/processes used, and the resources upon which they draw in the task of reflection are noted and examined. The article maps a multi-disciplinary programme for examining responses, uses one sociological framework (as provided by the work of Margaret Archer) as a case study of how this multi-disciplinary framework may prove fruitful, and concludes by noting the benefits for contemporary religious/theological understanding of the on-line activity studied.