Media Anthropology represents a convergence of issues and interests on anthropological approaches to the study of media. The purpose of this reader is to promote the identity of the field of study; identify its major concepts, methods, and bibliography; comment on the state of the art; and provide examples of current research. Based on original articles by leading scholars from several countries and academic disciplines, Media Anthropology provides essays introducing the issues, reviewing the field, forging new conceptual syntheses.
Chapter 9: The Church of the Cult of the Individual
The Church of the Cult of the Individual
Why does celebrity work the way it does in the United States and other industrialized societies? Why are such large proportions of the communicative and cultural resources of such societies devoted to the making and unmaking, promotion, presentation, examination, and scandalization of celebrity personalities? Why do almost all people in such societies spend at least some of their time paying attention to the lives, activities, and performances of individuals unknown to them but who are presented by the media as celebrities? Why does the system operate in such a way that essentially one cannot be out of the presence of these star players on the public stage, as if ...