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Celebrity Society Paperback – May 28, 2012

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ISBN-13: 978-0415581509 ISBN-10: 0415581508 Edition: 0th

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Editorial Reviews


"For putting today’s celebrity-obsessed media in perspective, Robert van Krieken’s Celebrity Society provides a welcome dispassionate retrospective."Madeline Esch, Salve Regina University

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (August 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415581508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415581509
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,815,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Geert de Vries on August 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
While the contemporary `cult of celebrity' has often been deplored, it has rarely been analyzed. Australian sociologist Robert van Krieken has decided to take celebrity seriously. Celebrity is the capacity to draw the attention of large numbers of people and to use their attention to one's own advantage. Celebrity is thus a form of capital that can be reproduced, invested and converted in other forms. Far from being new or even recent, celebrity culture - or as Van Krieken rather has it: celebrity society - dates back to 16th Century court society, where aristocratic courtiers had a vital interest in drawing and keeping the attention of the absolutist kings like Louis XIV. Since then, celebrity has been democratized. Practically anybody can nowadays aspire to fame and in principle even a nobody can attain it - if only for a brief moment. And celebrities have become quite dependent of the attention of their audiences. In a way, they are at the mercy of the sustained interest in them of millions and millions of people.

Van Krieken vividly reconstructs the historical stages of this `celebritization of society'.(The printing press, court society, English Restoration theatre, French salons, mass circulation newspapers, the advertising industry, radio, television, and of course the Internet all have their roles to play.) While doing so, he demonstrates that celebrity has become a vital function in post-industrial society.
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