Celebrity culture has a pervasive presence in our everyday lives – perhaps more so than ever before. It shapes not simply the production and consumption of media content but also the social values through which we experience the world. This collection analyses this phenomenon, bringing together essays which explore celebrity across a range of media, cultural and political contexts.
The authors investigate topics such as the intimacy of fame, political celebrity, stardom in American ‘quality’ television (Sarah Jessica Parker), celebrity 'reality' TV (I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!), the circulation of the porn star, the gallery film (David/David Beckham), the concept of cartoon celebrity (The Simpsons), fandom and celebrity (k.d. lang, *NSYNC), celebrity in the tabloid press, celebrity magazines (heat, Celebrity Skins), the fame of the serial killer and narratives of mental illness in celebrity culture.
The collection is organized into four themed sections:
- Fame Now broadly examines the contemporary contours of fame as they course through new media sites (such as 'reality' TV and the internet) and different social, cultural and political spaces.
- Fame Body attempts to situate the star or celebrity body at the centre of the production, circulation and consumption of contemporary fame.
- Fame Simulation considers the increasingly strained relationship between celebrity and artifice and ‘authenticity’.
- Fame Damage looks at the way the representation of fame is bound up with auto-destructive tendencies or dissolution.