“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.




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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