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  • Why do superfans view stars like family members?
  • Why do superfans view stars like family members?
    Polina Tankilevitch (2021) ©

We’re like family! The science of parakin relationships

Thanks to the reach provided by social media, fans can get closer to their idols than ever before. Canvas8 spoke to Dr. Fan Yang, an assistant professor of communication at the University at Albany, about the implications of the resulting parakin relationships for stars and brands.

Location Global

Lady Gaga has Little Monsters, Taylor Swift has Swifties, Nicki Minaj has Barbz, and Beyoncé has the Beyhive. Superfans, or ‘stans’, are often a celebrity’s infantry online. They initiate pile-ons when a reviewer posts a less than glowing review, nurture feuds with other celebrities, and even wield their influence on their idol themselves. [1] Little Monsters, for example, managed to make a leaked Lady Gaga track go viral in 2020 before its release (much to the dismay of Gaga herself). [2] Others are getting involved in their idols’ love lives – the #annamarietendler hashtag ...



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