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Celebrity and Youth

Mediated Audiences, Fame Aspirations, and Identity Formation


Edited By Spring-Serenity Duvall

Celebrity and Youth: Mediated Audiences, Fame Aspirations, and Identity Formation makes an examination of contemporary celebrity culture with an emphasis on how young celebrities are manufactured, how fan communities are cultivated, and how young audiences consume and aspire to fame. This book foregrounds considerations of diversity within celebrity and fan cultures, and takes an international perspective on the production of stardom. Chapters include interviews with professional athletes in the United States about their experiences with stardom after coming out as gay, and interviews with young people in Europe about their consumption of celebrity and aspirations of achieving fame via social media. Other chapters include interviews with young Canadian women that illuminate the potential influence of famous feminists on audience political engagement, and critical analysis of media narratives about race, happiness, cultural appropriation, and popular feminisms. The current anthology brings together scholarship from Canada, the United States, Spain, and Portugal to demonstrate the pervasive reach of global celebrity, as well as the commonality of youth experiences with celebrity in diverse cultural settings.

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Introduction (Spring-Serenity Duvall)


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Celebrity culture is youth-obsessed and young people are obsessed with celebrities. These notions underpin much of the public discourse about celebrity culture and young people, taking for granted certain power dynamics, preferences, and consequences. The paradigm that structures public discourse about celebrity and youth is intensely focused on the potentially pathological relationship between young people and celebrity. The child star who is exploited, the teen star who falls from grace, the young fan who alters her body to attain celebrity perfection, the young first-time voter who is swayed by celebrity political endorsements, or the narcissistic young consumer whose purchasing habits are shaped by the glamour and commercialism of famous entertainers. Such concerns permeate global discourses on celebrity and youth.

Celebrity studies scholars interrogate the assumptions underpinning much of the popular concerns about youth and celebrity in order to complicate the role of fandom and star gazing in young people’s identity formations, sense of community, and indeed their own fame-seeking. In this collection, contributors privilege the perspectives of young people who interact with celebrity—whether by being famous themselves, being fans, or consumers—by conducting surveys, in-depth interviews, discourse analyses, and political economies of entertainment industries to mention but a few approaches. The body of scholarship that interrogates celebrity and youth is necessarily interdisciplinary as it bridges the areas of ← 1 | 2 → mass communication theory, cultural studies, gender, race, and ethnicity studies, sexuality studies, and...

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