Meeting Josh Groban (Again): Fan/Celebrity Contact as Ordinary Behavior


  • Gayle Stever Empire State College State University of New York


Fan, Celebrity, Parasocial, Ethnography, Audiences


In a participant-observer ethnographic study, the researcher offers evidence from 10 years of observation of the Josh Groban fandom as an example of fans becoming friendly acquaintances of celebrities. Contrary to the way much of the psychological literature depicts fans, as celebrity worshippers or stalkers, the largest percentage of the fans observed in this study showed normal social engagement with others outside of their fan activity, and a friendly acquaintanceship with Groban that is similar to other kinds of relationships happening outside of the context of mediated relationships. Fans who pursued these relationships did so within a social context and network of other fans in most cases. Connection through music, relief from various kinds of life stressors, or the desire to participate in charity efforts are offered as some of the explanations for what motivates the fan to seek out this kind of relationship with an attractive media persona. Keywords: fan, celebrity, parasocial, ethnography, audience

Author Biography

Gayle Stever, Empire State College State University of New York

Associate Professor of Psychology



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