ABSTRACT

This chapter examines celebrity culture, incorporating research from celebrity studies, including the work of Chris Rojek as well as a reassessment and update of the classic work by Daniel Boorstin. It argues that celebrities are today's tragic heroes but with key differences due in part to contemporary media culture. Using Princess Diana and Kobe Bryant as illustrations, it analyzes how their respective lives and deaths are mediated as tragic precisely because they embody familiarity rather than fame.