chapter  9
Success Just for Being You
Opportunity in the Internet Age
Pages 25

This chapter describes how celebrity tales not only provide visible examples of upward mobility, but also how they seem to explain downward mobility as an individual, rather than structural, phenomenon. Celebrity gossip is both easy to produce and consume; coverage of bad behavior and relationship sagas also feeds modern-day morality tales, warning of the dangers of excess and infidelity, as well as attempting to mark the shifting boundaries of what constitutes acceptable behavior. A 2001 Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study reported that the top 1 percent enjoyed nearly all of the income gains of the 1990s. Sociologist Robert Manning details how credit card companies began marketing to working-class consumers and college students. The lack of public pillory does not mean the absence of problematic behavior. The structure of the entertainment industry, as well as the industry's focus on youth and a narrow version of beauty rarely become part of the discussion about how fame ends.