The twenty-first century has seen an explosion in the ways and means in which children can become part of celebrity culture. With the rise in popularity of reality TV, child beauty pageants, talent shows, and social media platforms, as well as more established routes to fame through TV, cinema, theatre and music, the number of children establishing a presence in public life continues to proliferate.

Childhood and Celebrity brings together international scholarly writing and research about famous children, and representations of childhood, from a range of disciplines including Childhood Studies, Celebrity Studies, Cultural Studies and Film Studies in order to open up a theoretical space in which to explore and understand the complex relationship between contemporary childhood and celebrity culture.

This unique collection includes detailed case studies of specific child performers such as McCaulay Culkin and Miley Cyrus, histories of child stars in the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood, analyses of representations of children in film and discussions of children as media creators and producers. Key themes of transgression, gender, ‘coming of age’, childhood innocence and children’s rights recur in the chapters and present a compelling argument for the emergence of the field of Childhood and Celebrity as an area of study in its own right.

chapter |4 pages


chapter 1|12 pages

Childhood and celebrity

Mapping the terrain

part 1|50 pages

Childhood vs child celebrity

chapter 3|13 pages

Born to be famous?

Children of celebrities and their rights in the media

chapter 4|12 pages

‘Just a voice and youth’

Shirley Temple, Deanna Durbin, Judy Garland and the rise of the musical child star in the 1930s

chapter 5|14 pages

Bollywood’s periphery

Child stars and representations of childhood in Hindi films

part 2|77 pages

Post-childhood celebrity – the transition to adulthood

chapter 6|13 pages

Blossoming beauty or unhinged teen?

Media and audiences discussing celebrities coming of age

chapter 7|17 pages

Miley Cyrus and the ‘murder’ of Hannah Montana

Authenticity and young female celebrity

chapter 8|11 pages

The Olsen Twins and internship

The career girl as ‘eager serf’

chapter 10|11 pages

The devil you don’t know?

The rise and fall and rise of Linda Blair

part 3|49 pages

Childhood, celebrity and the media

chapter 12|12 pages

Created by children

Conceptualising the child as media producer

chapter 13|11 pages

The child star as celebrity

Shirley Temple, fandom and memory

chapter 14|14 pages

Parchís as a multimedia franchise

Consumption and fandom across the Hispanic world

chapter 15|10 pages

Music/Image and the cusp-persona

The child/adult public persona of child celebrities