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Claims To Fame

Author: Joshua Gamson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520914155
Size: 42.55 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analyze the meaning of fame in American life, Gamson begins with the often-heard criticisms that today's heroes have been replaced by pseudoheroes, that notoriety has become detached from merit.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.

Illusions Of Immortality

Author: David Giles
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
ISBN: 1137219491
Size: 76.75 MB
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What drives people to crave fame and celebrity? How does fame affect people psychologically? These issues are frequently discussed by the media but up till now psychologists have shied away from an academic away from an academic investigation of the phenomenon of fame. In this lively, eclectic book David Giles examines fame and celebrity from a variety of perspectives. He argues that fame should be seen as a process rather than a state of being, and that `celebrity' has largely emerged through the technological developments of the last 150 years. Part of our problem in dealing with celebrities, and the problem celebrities have dealing with the public, is that the social conditions produced by the explosion in mass communications have irrevocably altered the way we live. However we know little about many of the phenomena these conditions have produced - such as the `parasocial interaction' between television viewers and media characters, and the quasi-religious activity of `fans'. Perhaps the biggest single dilemma for celebrities is the fact that the vehicle that creates fame for them - the media - is also their tormentor. To address these questions, David Giles draws on research from psychology, sociology, media and communications studies, history and anthropology - as well as his own experiences as a music journalist in the 1980s. He argues that the history of fame is inextricably linked to the emergence of the individual self as a central theme of Western culture, and considers how the desire for authenticity, as well as individual privacy, have created anxieties for celebrities which are best understood in their historical and cultural context.

Celebrity And Power

Author: P. David Marshall
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816627257
Size: 49.30 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.

Self Exposure

Author: Charles L. Ponce de Leon
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807862215
Size: 55.54 MB
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Few features of contemporary American culture are as widely lamented as the public's obsession with celebrity--and the trivializing effect this obsession has on what appears as news. Nevertheless, America's "culture of celebrity" remains misunderstood, particularly when critics discuss its historical roots. In this pathbreaking book, Charles Ponce de Leon provides a new interpretation of the emergence of celebrity. Focusing on the development of human-interest journalism about prominent public figures, he illuminates the ways in which new forms of press coverage gradually undermined the belief that famous people were "great," instead encouraging the public to regard them as complex, interesting, even flawed individuals and offering readers seemingly intimate glimpses of the "real" selves that were presumed to lie behind the calculated, self-promotional fronts that celebrities displayed in public. But human-interest journalism about celebrities did more than simply offer celebrities a new means of gaining publicity or provide readers with the "inside dope," says Ponce de Leon. In chapters devoted to celebrities from the realms of business, politics, entertainment, and sports, he shows how authors of celebrity journalism used their writings to weigh in on subjects as wide-ranging as social class, race relations, gender roles, democracy, political reform, self-expression, material success, competition, and the work ethic, offering the public a new lens through which to view these issues.

The Economics Of Superstars And Celebrities

Author: Stephan Nüesch
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
ISBN: 3835054295
Size: 41.52 MB
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Stephan Nüesch investigates the driving forces of superstar and celebrity emergence, the efficiency of superstar salaries in professional sports, and the star attraction of superstars and celebrities both in sports and in the media. The author provides an economic theory of very famous but trivial celebrities.

Writing Celebrity

Author: T. Galow
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230119492
Size: 64.44 MB
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Writing Celebrity is divided into three major sections. The first part traces the rise of a national celebrity culture in the United States and examines the impact that this culture had on "literary" writing in the decades before World War II. The second two sections of the book demonstrate the relevance of celebrity for literary scholarship by re-evaluating the careers of two major American authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein.

Rethinking Nineteenth Century Liberalism

Author: Anthony Howe
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 9780754655725
Size: 58.18 MB
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Addressing the critical issues that were to bring Richard Cobden (1804-1865) to the attention of Europe's political classes, this volume provides a timely reassessment of his influence on the development of nineteenth-century economic thinking. Focusing particularly on Cobden's advocacy of free trade and opposition to tariffs, the book explores the impact of 'Cobdenism' on the national and international stage, and considers his lasting legacy to economic liberalism. Offering a broad yet coherent investigation of the 'Cobdenite project' by leading international scholars, this volume provides a new and fascinating insight into one of the nineteenth century's most important figures.

The Star As Icon

Author: Daniel Herwitz
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231518587
Size: 60.53 MB
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Princess Diana, Jackie O, Grace Kelly—the star icon is the most talked about yet least understood persona. The object of adoration, fantasy, and cult obsession, the star icon is a celebrity, yet she is also something more: a dazzling figure at the center of a media pantomime that is at once voyeuristic and zealously guarded. With skill and humor, Daniel Herwitz pokes at the gears of the celebrity-making machine, recruiting a philosopher's interest in the media, an eye for society, and a love of popular culture to divine our yearning for these iconic figures and the role they play in our lives. Herwitz portrays the star icon as caught between transcendence and trauma. An effervescent being living on a distant, exalted planet, the star icon is also a melodramatic heroine desperate to escape her life and the ever-watchful eye of the media. The public buoys her up and then eagerly watches her fall, her collapse providing a satisfying conclusion to a story sensationally told—while leaving the public yearning for a rebirth. Herwitz locates this double life in the opposing tensions of film, television, religion, and consumer culture, offering fresh perspectives on these subjects while ingeniously mapping society's creation (and destruction) of these special aesthetic stars. Herwitz has a soft spot for popular culture yet remains deeply skeptical of public illusion. He worries that the media distances us from even minimal insight into those who are transfigured into star icons. It also blinds us to the shaping of our political present.

Intermodernism

Author: Kristin Bluemel
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 0748688560
Size: 66.42 MB
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This collection of original critical essays, newly available in paperback, launches an ambitious, long-term project marking out a new period and style in twentieth-century literary history.