Full Text

Zines

Jennifer Rauch


Subject Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Culture » Popular Culture

Key-Topics newspapers and periodicals

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Extract

A zine is an independent publication produced by an individual or collective on a low budget and distributed on a small scale primarily for personal, artistic, or social aims rather than for profit. Because zine communities arise outside of mainstream media systems, they represent ways in which people understand and engage with media that diverge from consumer capitalism. While there is some question as to whether modern self-publishing can foster social change, scholars (as well as zine producers themselves) have observed that many common practices of zine culture are guided by democratic ideals of expression, inclusion, and participation. The term “zine,” an abbreviation of fanzine (itself a contraction of fan →  magazine ), refers to printed work typified by idiosyncratic themes and noncommercial motives. Individual zines might cover a wide range of subjects – music, politics, culture, sex, travel, work – or focus on an esoteric topic such as thrift shopping, baseball nostalgia, conspicuous consumption, or eight-track tapes. Popular articles often discuss publishers’ daily lives and comment seriously or humorously on social trends, offering perspectives from anarchists, obese women, feminists, HIV-positive men, senior citizens, and other underrepresented groups. Well-known zine titles include Ben is Dead , Bunnyhop , Chickfactor , Cometbus , Dishwasher , Fifth Estate ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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