Ours is the age of celebrity. An inescapable aspect of daily life in our media-saturated societies of the twenty-first century, celebrity is celebrated for its infinite plasticity and glossy seductions. But there is also a darker side. Celebrity culture is littered from end to end with addictions, pathologies, neuroses, even suicides. Why, as a society, are we held in thrall to celebrity? What is the power of celebrity in a world of increasing consumerism, individualism and globalization?

Routledge Handbook of Celebrity Studies, edited by acclaimed social theorist Anthony Elliott, offers a remarkably clear overview of the analysis of celebrity in the social sciences and humanities, and in so doing seeks to develop a new agenda for celebrity studies. The key theories of celebrity, ranging from classical sociological accounts to critical theory, and from media studies to postmodern approaches, are drawn together and critically appraised. There are substantive chapters looking at fame, renown and celebrity in terms of the media industries, pop music, the makeover industries, soap stars, fans and fandom as well as the rise of non-Western forms of celebrity. The Handbook also explores in detail the institutional aspects of celebrity, and especially new forms of mediated action and interaction. From Web 3.0 to social media, the culture of celebrity is fast redefining the public political sphere.

Throughout this volume, there is a strong emphasis on interdisciplinarity with chapters covering sociology, cultural studies, psychology, politics and history. Written in a clear and direct style, this handbook will appeal to a wide undergraduate audience. The extensive references and sources will direct students to areas of further study.

part I|106 pages

Theories and Concepts of Celebrity

chapter 1|23 pages

Celebrity and contemporary culture

A critical analysis of some theoretical accounts
ByAnthony Elliott, Ross Boyd

chapter 2|18 pages

Celebrity’s histories

ByRobert van Krieken

chapter 3|14 pages

Celebrity in the contemporary era

ByHannah Hamad

chapter 4|15 pages

Postmodern theories of celebrity

ByLee Barron

chapter 5|20 pages

Cultural studies and the politics of celebrity

From powerless elite to celebristardom
ByBarry King

chapter 6|14 pages

Celebrity and religion

ByKathryn Lofton

part II|68 pages

The Culture of Celebrity

chapter 7|15 pages

The death of celebrity

Global grief, manufactured mourning
ByAnthony Elliott

chapter 8|17 pages

Soap stars

ByC. Lee Harrington

chapter 9|16 pages

Celebrity, fans and fandom

ByNick Stevenson

chapter 10|18 pages

Celebrity in the social media age

Renegotiating the public and the private
ByAnne Jerslev, Mette Mortensen

part III|68 pages

Non-Western Celebrity

chapter 11|13 pages

Victims, Bollywood and the construction of a cele-meme

ByPramod K. Nayar

chapter 12|12 pages

K-pop idols, artificial beauty and affective fan relationships in South Korea

ByJoanna Elfving-Hwang

chapter 13|13 pages

‘Idols’ in Japan, Asia and the world

ByPatrick W. Galbraith

chapter 14|12 pages

Celebrity and power in South America

ByNahuel Ribke

chapter 15|16 pages

Celebrity philanthropy in China

Rethinking cultural studies’ ‘Big Citizen’ critique
ByElaine Jeffreys

part IV|79 pages

The Conduits of Celebrity

chapter 16|10 pages

Celebrity in the age of global communication networks

ByOlivier Driessens

chapter 17|16 pages

Celebrity involvement

Parasocial interaction, identification and worship
ByWilliam J. Brown

chapter 18|14 pages

Celebrity, reputational capital and the media industries

ByPhilip Drake

chapter 19|16 pages

Human rights, democracy and celebrity

ByMark Wheeler

chapter 20|13 pages

Drastic plastic

Identity in the age of makeover
ByAnthony Elliott

chapter 21|8 pages

The Great Gomez

John Astin in conversation with Anthony Elliott
ByAnthony Elliott