Understanding Celebrity
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Understanding Celebrity

Second Edition


© 2013 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

“An outstanding achievement... Graeme Turner writes with power and persuasion, and brilliantly explores what it is about celebrity today that should concern us all”
- Sean Redmond, Deakin University

“A key touchstone for celebrity studies. Turner thoughtfully illuminates the variety of production and consumption practices through which celebrity circulates today, whilst remaining sensitive to the complexity of power relations in play. An essential read for students and scholars in the field”
- Sue Holmes, University of East Anglia

“Cements Turner’s status as the most important figure in celebrity studies... Turner’s gaze fixes on developments in digital, social and global mediascapes, drawing media and celebrity studies into complex critical, political and cultural debates in his indomitable style"
- James Bennett, Royal Holloway, University of London

“An extraordinary synthesis of research and theory... Understanding Celebrity remains the go-to text of celebrity studies"
- Joshua Gamsom, University of San Francisco


Where does the production of celebrity end and its consumption begin?

Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and reality TV allow us a previously unimagined engagement with the manufactured 'persona' of celebrity. Understanding Celebrity has become the go-to text for understanding the connection between the production and consumption of this 'persona'. The long-awaited second edition assesses the changing nature of this pivotal relationship in celebrity studies.

The book:

  • Explains how social media is key in establishing an online presence for celebrities
  • Critically analyses the changing nature of fan culture within the online environment
  • Delves into a richer and more detailed account of the history of celebrity
  • Examines in greater depth the increased role of reality TV
  • Incorporates recent contributions from feminist scholars to the field

Enriched with new examples drawn from popular culture, this is a contemporary and incisive look at celebrity studies.

Understanding Celebrity is not only an essential text, but a stimulating read for students studying celebrity and popular culture across media studies, cultural studies and sociology.

 
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION
 
1. Understanding Celebrity
Celebrity Today  
What is Celebrity?  
Picture Personalities, Stars, and Celebrities  
The Spread of Celebrity Culture  
Taxonomies of Fame  
The Social Functions of Celebrity  
Celebrities and the Publicity Industries  
 
PART TWO: PRODUCTION
 
2. The Economy of Celebrity
Globalisation and Media Convergence  
The Celebrity-Commodity  
The Celebrity Industries  
Publicity, News and Power  
 
3. Manufacturing Celebrity
Ordinary Talent  
'Real' Celebrities and Reality TV  
Taking Control: Producing DIY Celebrity in the Digital Era  
 
4. Celebrity, the Tabloid and the Democratic Public Sphere
Celebrity, Mass Market Magazines and the Tabloids  
The 'Tabloidisation' Debate  
'Democratainment'  
The Demotic Turn  
 
PART THREE: CONSUMPTION
 
5. The Cultural Function of Celebrity
Celebrity 'From Below'  
The Para-social Relationship  
Royal Celebrity  
Mourning Diana  
Constructing Cultural Identities  
 
6. Consuming Celebrity
Celebrity Watchers  
Gossip: The Extended Family, Melodrama and Revenge  
Histories of Consumption: Star Gazing  
Consuming Celebrity Online  
 
7. Conclusion: Celebrity and Public Culture
Taking Celebrity Seriously  
Celebrity, Politics and 'Spin'  
Conclusion  

This revised and extended edition of Understanding Celebrity is an outstanding achievement. The book draws upon new transformations in celebrity - such as the deployment of the social media to create complex spaces of identification and agency - to assess its impact on all aspects of contemporary life. Graeme Turner writes with power and persuasion, and brilliantly explores what it is about celebrity today that should concern us all.

Sean Redmond
Deakin University, Australia

Accessibly written - and reinvigorated with reference to new case studies and trends - Understanding Celebrity remains a key touchstone for Celebrity Studies. Turner thoughtfully illuminates the variety of production and consumption practices through which celebrity circulates today, whilst remaining sensitive to the complexity of power relations in play. An essential read for students and scholars in the field.

Su Holmes
University of East Anglia

Understanding Celebrity not only cements Turner’s status as the most important figure in celebrity studies, but also reminds us why the study of celebrity is so important. Providing a significant and compelling update, Turner’s gaze fixes on developments in digital, social and global mediascapes, drawing media and celebrity studies into complex critical, political and cultural debates in his indomitable style.

James Bennett
Royal Holloway, University of London

An extraordinary synthesis of research and theory, filled with original insights, the new edition of Understanding Celebrity remains the go-to text of celebrity studies. From Elvis to Kim Kardashian, from old Hollywood to the Twitterverse, from fandom to DIY stardom, Turner covers complex ground with smarts and erudition.

Joshua Gamson
University of San Francisco

This is a timely and, given the meteoric emergence of social media, necessary update of Graeme Turner’s 2004 subject defining work Understanding Celebrity.  Turner widens the frame of discussion and it is here that the value of the book is evident, not only as summative text on the academic study of celebrity but also as a compelling exploration of issues relating to consumerism and identity, Americanisation and the ‘battle’ between elite and popular culture.

Dr Thomas Thurnell-Read, Coventry University
Network - Magazine of the British Sociological Association

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One - Understanding Celebrity


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ISBN: 9781446253212
ISBN: 9781446253205

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