“This welcome addition to the literature on fame goes beyond goes beyond stardom–though Redmond and Holmes cover that topic well–to discuss stardom and celebrity in general.”

A.L. Knight, CHOICE

This book brings together some of the seminal interventions which have structured the development of star/celebrity studies, while crucially combining and situating these within the context of new essays which address the contemporary, cross-media and international landscape of today's fame culture. At the core of the collection is a desire to map out a unique historical trajectory – both in terms of the development of fame, as well as the historical development of star/celebrity studies.

The Powerless ‘Elite’: Theory and Sociological Research on the Phenomenon of the Stars1

The powerless ‘elite’: Theory and sociological research on the phenomenon of the stars

General Conditions for the Existence of the Phenomenon

In every society are to be found persons who, in the eyes of other members of the collectivity are especially remarkable and who attract universal attention. This applies most often to the king and nobles, to priests, prophets and men of power, although often in very diverse ways and in varying degrees. In general it is a question of persons who hold power (political, economic or religious) – that is to say, of persons whose decisions have an influence on the present and future fortunes of the society which they direct. This rule ...

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