Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America

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University of California Press, 02.03.1994 - 270 Seiten
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analyze the meaning of fame in American life, Gamson begins with the often-heard criticisms that today's heroes have been replaced by pseudoheroes, that notoriety has become detached from merit.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.

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Inhalt

III
1
IV
13
V
15
VI
40
VII
55
VIII
57
IX
79
X
108
XII
129
XIII
142
XIV
172
XV
186
XVI
197
XVII
217
XVIII
239
XIX
249

XI
127

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Beliebte Passagen

Seite 21 - every conceivable object of Nature and Art will soon scale off its surface for us. Men will hunt all curious, beautiful, grand objects, as they hunt the cattle in South America, for their skins, and leave the carcasses as of little worth.
Seite 7 - it is no longer a question of imitation, nor of reduplication, nor even of parody. It is rather a question of substituting signs of the real for the real itself.
Seite 57 - The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his image or trademark. The hero created himself; the celebrity is created by the media. The hero was a big man; the celebrity is a big name. (Daniel
Seite 21 - I thoroughly understood the art of advertising, not merely by means of printer's ink, which I have always used freely, and to which I confess myself so much indebted for my success, but by turning every possible circumstance to my account.
Seite 237 - 31. Janice Radway, Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1984), pp.
Seite 57 - The celebrity is a person who is known for his well-knownness. . . . He is neither good nor bad, great nor petty. He is the human pseudo-event. . . . The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his image or trademark.
Seite 147 - what is behind or below the surface is, unquestionably and virtually by definition, the truth. Thus features on stars which tell us that the star is not like he or she appears to be on screen serve to reinforce the authenticity of the star image as a whole.
Seite 9 - We risk being the first people in history to have been able to make their illusions so vivid, so persuasive, so 'realistic,' that they can live in them.
Seite 217 - Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," Screen 16, no. 3 (Autumn 1975): pp. 6-18; and

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Über den Autor (1994)

Joshua Gamson is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Yale University.

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