Celebrity Culture / Edition 1

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Why are we so fascinated by people who make no material impact on our lives and are, in many respects, just like ourselves - ordinary? Why do we care about people who have no conspicuous talent? Has there ever been a time in history when so much time, energy, and money has been devoted to following the exploits of people we have never met, are never likely to, and who don't know we exist? What are the likely effects of this collective obsession with celebrities on politics, race, and the media?

In answering these and many more questions, Ellis Cashmore takes his readers on a quest that involves visiting the Hollywood film industry of the early twentieth century, the film set of Cleopatra in the 1960s, the dressing room of Madonna in the 1980s, the burial of Diana in the 1990s, and the Big Brother house of the early 2000s. Author of Beckham and Tyson, Cashmore collects research, theory, and case studies en route as he explores the intriguing issue of celebrity culture: its origins, its meaning, and its global influence. Covering such varied perspectives as fame addiction, the "celebrification" of politics, and celebrity fatigue, Cashmore analyzes the relationship celebrity has with commodification and the consumer society, and investigates the new media and the quest for self-perfection. This absorbing new book skilfully explains why we have become so captivated by the lives and loves of the celebrity and, in so doing, presents the clearest, most comprehensive, wide-ranging, and accessible account of celebrity culture to date.

About the Author:
Ellis Cashmore is Professor of Culture, Media and Sport at Staffordshire University, England

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

'There's an insatiable hunger to remain in the public arena resulting in a woman, "grotesquely ill-equipped", releasing music without rhyme or reason.'Prof Cashmore, on Paris Hilton's recent decision to bring out a CD.

'Fame is the new currency.' – Prof Cashmore, on the fascination with all things celebrity.

'Madonna dissolved the barrier between personal and private life. It became one and the same.'Prof Cashmore, on how Madonna started the trend of Celebrities in the public eye.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415373111
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,253,701
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Cultivating/Tastes: What parts did the media and consumer society play in turning us into celebrity-doters?     1
Making/New Rules: When did the paparazzi appear and how did they make yet contribute to the destruction of Diana?     17
Giving/It All: How did Madonna and MTV combine to smudge the distinction between entertainment and advertising?     36
Fabricating/Fame: When and why did Hollywood build an image-building machine that conquered all?     56
Worshipping/From Afar: What do fans think, feel and do...and with what effects on the objects of their adoration?     78
Consuming/Beauty: How are cosmetic surgery and the preoccupation with physical perfection linked to celebrity culture?     98
Commodifying/Race: Why have black celebrities been used as living proof of the end of racism?     116
Thriving/On Scandal: How have disgrace, shame, humiliation, and sexual indignity helped some celebrities climb onto the A-list?     140
Buying/Sales: Why do advertisers assume we will buy products endorsed by people we suspect never use those products?     165
Televising/Reality: When did ordinary people become so fascinating that we will watch entire programs about them doing nothing in particular?     188
Blurring/The Line: Why are more and more celebrities turning to politics and why is politics turning to celebrities?     208
Creating/Legends: What happened to the heroes of sport when theystarted being acclaimed as much for their images as for their achievements?     227
Answering/The Big Question: How have scholars tried to explain the seemingly irresistible rise of the celebrity?     247
Timeline     270
Bibliography     280
Films     291
Index     295
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Good Overview

    Cashmore's book in well researched and analyzes the concept of 'celebrity culture' through multiple lenses. He investigates the celebrity "brand," its power of persuasion and influence, and the impact of this culture on consumerism, cultural ideology and the individual. Cashmore's tone is witty and sharp. He does not hesitate to object with the viewpoints of the researchers he is citing throughout the text - while leaving the reader the chance to make the final decision. The book is comprehensive but its level of clarity in writing allows for an easy, intellectual read.

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