Fans’ identity strategies : optimum differentiation
The article presents the results of an individual interview survey of self-declared Beatles fans. The comprehensive interview method circumvents the problem of stigmatization associated with intense passions. The life stories collected point up identity strategies in which significant value is attributed to the quest for a differentiated self-image ; in this they conform to results obtained in studies of contemporary individualization processes. The point of optimum differentiation nonetheless represents a fragile balance, one continually called into question by the development pattern of such passions.