Author(s): Jeffrey W Kassing, Jimmy Sanderson
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This study traced fan reactions to and support of Floyd Landis over the final and dramatic stages of the 2006 Tour de France through the lens of parasocial interaction. A thematic analysis using constant comparative methodology of 1,086 fan postings on cyclist Floyd Landis's Web site (floydlandis.com) was conducted. Results indicated that fans' interaction with Landis reflected: (a) traditional dimensions of parasocial interaction, (b) relationally appropriate behaviors, and (c) active social interaction behaviors. Overall, the findings demonstrate that Internet communication technologies have shifted the nature of parasocial interaction from one-sided and passive to an approximation of actual social interaction and confirm that fans readily interact (para)socially with athletes.
This article was published in Western Journal of Communication
and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism