Celebrity, Participation, and the Public
This chapter develops two different accounts of the relationship between celebrity and the public in order to recover some sense of the contingency of that relationship – and discusses that some celebrity publics are more public than others. The production of celebrity is not, of course, quite so arbitrary in practice. Usually, public visibility is the direct outcome of media work which is aimed at marketing a commercial venture that makes use of, or in some cases establishes, a particular celebrity. The modes of participation have the effect of blurring the distinctions between (or perhaps, more accurately, dissolving the binaries between) production and consumption, the celebrity and the fan, and the traditional celebrity and the ‘ordinary’ or micro-celebrity. The widening of access to the means of production and distribution has played a part in generating a mode of celebrity that actually aims at a more narrow and restricted conception of a public.