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

chapter 2|18 pages

Celebrity’s histories

chapter 3|14 pages

Celebrity in the contemporary era

chapter 4|15 pages

Postmodern theories of celebrity

chapter 5|20 pages

Cultural studies and the politics of celebrity

From powerless elite to celebristardom

chapter 6|14 pages

Celebrity and religion

part II|68 pages

The Culture of Celebrity

chapter 7|15 pages

The death of celebrity

Global grief, manufactured mourning

chapter 8|17 pages

Soap stars

chapter 9|16 pages

Celebrity, fans and fandom

chapter 10|18 pages

Celebrity in the social media age

Renegotiating the public and the private

part III|68 pages

Non-Western Celebrity

chapter 14|12 pages

Celebrity and power in South America

chapter 15|16 pages

Celebrity philanthropy in China

Rethinking cultural studies’ ‘Big Citizen’ critique

part IV|79 pages

The Conduits of Celebrity

chapter 17|16 pages

Celebrity involvement

Parasocial interaction, identification and worship

chapter 20|13 pages

Drastic plastic

Identity in the age of makeover

chapter 21|8 pages

The Great Gomez

John Astin in conversation with Anthony Elliott