Much work on media fandom has considered the relationships between fans and those responsible for creating the object of fandom, particularly the interactions between fans and producers of television shows (Jenkins 1992; Lancaster 2001; Tulloch 1995). This paper considers fan/producer relationships within online fandom of the Australian soap opera Neighbours to examine how such interactions function within soap fandom. I suggest that the often fierce clashes between fans and creators of fan objects can be better understood through application of Pierre Bourdieu's field theory (1993). Fields are always characterised by struggles over legitimacy and bids for dominance and this paper argues that fan/producer relationships can be better understood if we consider them as agents who occupy positions within the 'broadcasting field' (Born 2003) and engage in often fierce clashes over their positions within the field and the 'appropriate' behaviours associated with them.
- soap opera