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Claims To Fame

Author: Joshua Gamson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520914155
Size: 47.86 MB
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Moving from People magazine to publicists' offices to tours of stars' homes, Joshua Gamson investigates the larger-than-life terrain of American celebrity culture. In the first major academic work since the early 1940s to seriously analyze the meaning of fame in American life, Gamson begins with the often-heard criticisms that today's heroes have been replaced by pseudoheroes, that notoriety has become detached from merit. He draws on literary and sociological theory, as well as interviews with celebrity-industry workers, to untangle the paradoxical nature of an American popular culture that is both obsessively invested in glamour and fantasy yet also aware of celebrity's transparency and commercialism. Gamson examines the contemporary "dream machine" that publicists, tabloid newspapers, journalists, and TV interviewers use to create semi-fictional icons. He finds that celebrity watchers, for whom spotting celebrities becomes a spectator sport akin to watching football or fireworks, glean their own rewards in a game that turns as often on playing with inauthenticity as on identifying with stars. Gamson also looks at the "celebritization" of politics and the complex questions it poses regarding image and reality. He makes clear that to understand American public culture, we must understand that strange, ubiquitous phenomenon, celebrity.

A Short History Of Celebrity

Author: Fred Inglis
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400834396
Size: 24.53 MB
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Love it or hate it, celebrity is one of the dominant features of modern life--and one of the least understood. Fred Inglis sets out to correct this problem in this entertaining and enlightening social history of modern celebrity, from eighteenth-century London to today's Hollywood. Vividly written and brimming with fascinating stories of figures whose lives mark important moments in the history of celebrity, this book explains how fame has changed over the past two-and-a-half centuries. Starting with the first modern celebrities in mid-eighteenth-century London, including Samuel Johnson and the Prince Regent, the book traces the changing nature of celebrity and celebrities through the age of the Romantic hero, the European fin de siècle, and the Gilded Age in New York and Chicago. In the twentieth century, the book covers the Jazz Age, the rise of political celebrities such as Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin, and the democratization of celebrity in the postwar decades, as actors, rock stars, and sports heroes became the leading celebrities. Arguing that celebrity is a mirror reflecting some of the worst as well as some of the best aspects of modern history itself, Inglis considers how the lives of the rich and famous provide not only entertainment but also social cohesion and, like morality plays, examples of what--and what not--to do. This book will interest anyone who is curious about the history that lies behind one of the great preoccupations of our lives. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Fame Junkies

Author: Jake Halpern
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 061891871X
Size: 38.52 MB
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An analytical study of America's rabid fascination with the lives of celebrities draws on numerous personal interviews--with fans, Hollywood insiders, and would-be celebrities--to examine the psychological, sociological, and biological roots of the obsession, as well as its implications for modern life. By the author of Braving Home. Reprint.

Celebrity Culture And The American Dream

Author: Karen Sternheimer
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317689682
Size: 71.61 MB
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Celebrity Culture and the American Dream, Second Edition considers how major economic and historical factors shaped the nature of celebrity culture as we know it today, retaining the first edition’s examples from the first celebrity fan magazines of 1911 to the present and expanding to include updated examples and additional discussion on the role of the internet and social media in today’s celebrity culture. Equally important, the book explains how and why the story of Hollywood celebrities matters, sociologically speaking, to an understanding of American society, to the changing nature of the American Dream, and to the relation between class and culture. This book is an ideal addition to courses on inequalities, celebrity culture, media, and cultural studies.

Hollywood Stardom

Author: Paul McDonald
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118321669
Size: 16.41 MB
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By integrating star studies and film industry studies, Hollywood Stardom reveals the inextricable bonds between culture and commerce in contemporary notions of film stardom. Integrates the traditions of star studies and industry studies to establish an original and innovative mode of analysis whereby the ‘star image’ is replaced with the ‘star brand’ Offers the first extensive analysis of stardom in the ‘post-studio’ era Combines genre, narrative, acting, and discourse analysis with aspects of marketing theory and the economic analysis of the film market Draws on an extensive body of research data not previously deployed in film scholarship A wide range of star examples are explored including George Clooney, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, and Julia Roberts

Celebrity And Power

Author: P. David Marshall
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816627257
Size: 72.87 MB
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The celebrity is an ambiguous figure in contemporary culture. Simultaneously celebrated and denigrated, stars represent not only the embodiment of success, but also the ultimate construction of false value. They are a peculiar form of public subjectivity that negotiates the tension between a democratic culture of access and a consumer capitalist culture of excess. Celebrity and Power examines this dynamic, questioning the cultural forces behind our need to become endlessly embroiled with the construction and collapse of celebrities.Through detailed analysis of figures from Tom Cruise to Oprah Winfrey to the commercial pop music sensation New Kids on the Block, author and cultural critic P. David Marshall investigates the general public’s desire to associate with celebrity. He examines various kinds of stars, questioning the needs each type fulfills in our lives and relating these needs to particular entertainment media. Marshall asks why enigmatic, distant stars populate the silver screen while television constructs approachable “everyman” figures and popular music features audience-identified celebrity personalities. He looks at the significance of stars who amass cultlike followings as well as those who appear to prompt outright rejection.Celebrity and Power identifies the forces that have enveloped the development of democratic culture and their partial resolution through a redefined public sphere populated by celebrities. Marshall argues that the new concern with the masses that characterizes modern capitalism promotes figures who can be seen as part of the crowd but who are articulated as individuals. As such, they provide a model of self-differentiation that furthers an economy in which product consumption is thought to bestow individualism and personality.Bridging the fields of media studies, film studies, communications, and popular culture, Marshall’s volume is a unique resource for students and researchers in all of these disciplines as well as for the general reader.P. David Marshall is director of the Media and Cultural Studies Centre in the Department of English, University of Queensland in Australia.

Celebrity Politics

Author: Mark Wheeler
Publisher: Polity
ISBN: 0745652484
Size: 25.69 MB
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In this new book, Mark Wheeler offers the first in-depth analysis of the history, nature and global reach of celebrity politics today. Celebrity politicians and politicized celebrities have had a profound impact upon the practice of politics and the way in which it is now communicated. New forms of political participation have emerged as a result and the political classes have increasingly absorbed the values of celebrity into their own PR strategies. Celebrity activists, endorsers, humanitarians and diplomats also play a part in reconfiguring politics for a more fragmented and image-conscious public arena. In academic circles, celebrity may be viewed as a ‘manufactured product’; one fabricated by media exposure so that celebrity activists are no more than ‘bards of the powerful.’ Mark Wheeler, however, provides a more nuanced critique contending that both celebrity politicians and politicized stars should be defined by their ‘affective capacity’ to operate within the public sphere. This timely book will be a valuable resource for students of media and communication studies and political science as well as general readers keen to understand the nature and reach of contemporary celebrity culture.

Authors Inc

Author: Loren Glass
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814731597
Size: 56.59 MB
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This landmark book represents the first publication of original writing by Radclyffe Hall, author of The Well of Loneliness, in over 50 years. One of the most famous and influential lesbian novelists of the twentieth century, Hall became a cause clbre in 1928, upon the publication of her novel The Well of Loneliness, when the British government brought action on behalf of the Crown to declare the book obscene. Probably the most widely read lesbian novel ever written, the book has been continuously in print since its first publication and remains to this day an important part of the literary landscape. Expertly deciphered and edited by Hall scholar and biographer Joanne Glasgow, Your John is a selection of Hall's love letters to Evguenia Souline, a White Russian èmigrè with whom Hall fell completely and passionately in love in the summer of 1934. Written between this first meeting and the onset of Hall's last illness in 1942, these letters detail Hall's growing obsession, the pain to her life partner Una Troubridge of this betrayal, and the poignant hopelessness of a happy resolution for any of the three women. It was ultimately this relationship, Glasgow argues, which tragically precipitated the decline in Hall's creative work and her health. The letters also provide important new information about her views on lesbianism and take us well beyond the artistic limits she imposed on the characters in The Well of Loneliness. They shed light on her views on religion, politics, war, and the literary and artistic scene. Illuminating both the nature of her relationships and her views on the current politics of the time, Your John will greatly extend the range of our knowledge about Radclyffe Hall.

Stargazing

Author: Kerry O. Ferris
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136828672
Size: 19.68 MB
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The sociology of fame and celebrity is at the cutting edge of current scholarship in a number of different areas of study. Stargazing highlights the interactional dynamics of celebrity and fame in contemporary society, including the thoughts and feelings of stars on the red carpet, the thrills and risks of encountering a famous person at a convention or on the streets, and the excitement generated even by the obvious fakery of celebrity impersonators. Using compelling, real-life examples involving popular celebrities, Ferris and Harris examine how the experience and meanings of celebrity are shaped by social norms, interactional negotiations, and interpretive storytelling.

Modern Families

Author: Joshua Gamson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 147984246X
Size: 14.89 MB
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The kinds of families we see today are different than they were even a decade ago as paths to parenthood have been rejiggered by technology, activism, and law. Gamson brings us extraordinary family creation tales that illuminate this changing world of contemporary kinship. He tells a variety of unconventional family-creation tales-- adoption and assisted reproduction, gay and straight parents, coupled and single, and multi-parent families-- set against the social, legal, and economic contexts in which they were made.