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Stars and the Status Quo


In his Collective Search for Identity Klapp suggests that stars (and other celebrities) can have one of three different relationships to prevalent norms – reinforcement, seduction and transcendence.

‘To reinforce a person in social roles – encourage him [sic] to play those which are highly valued – and to maintain the image of the group superself are presumably the classic functions of heroes in all societies’ (p. 219). Given Klapp's alternative, but necessarily exceptional, categories of seduction and transcendence (see below), this is acceptable. His elaboration of the concept is more problematic:

The beauty of heroes as a character-building force is that the individual, daydreaming,chooses for himself[sic], within the opportunities the available models provide – which, fortunately for the social order, usually ...

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