Striving for Authenticity: The Foundation and Dynamics of the AlDub Nation Fandom

Abstract

This paper looks at the AlDub Nation, a fandom birthed from the accidental love team formed in the Philippine noontime show Eat Bulaga in 2015. Convergence culture (Jenkins, 2006a), group dynamics (Forsyth, 2019) particularly Tuckman’s (1965) developmental stages of a group, and mixed methods approach through audience ethnography (Livingstone, 2009) were used to analyze the foundation and dynamics of the said fan community from a six-month fieldwork. I argue that the both online and offline fan activities such as attending fan events and buying fan-related items help prove and assert their identities as fans and identity as a group that continues to thrive even without their idols together in any project, which I call “striving for authenticity.” This paper sheds light on the AlDub Nation fandom through empirical data, contributes to the growing literature on fandoms in the Philippines and Philippine popular culture in general, as well as provides prospects for future studies on other fandoms that are converging in this digital age.