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Understanding Celebrity.

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Andy Ruddock

on 6 March 2017

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Transcript of Understanding Celebrity.

Understanding Celebrity: a cultural approach to media influence.
Graeme Turner
Leading Australian Media Scholar.
Interested in how ordinary people experience media.
A critic of effects tradition.
'Celebrity' is a phenomenon because ordinary people are a vital raw material for media industries.
Celebrity is "a means of advancing transnational marketing across a wide range of industries" (2004, 16).
The celebrity industry have shifted how we understand what it is to be a person. We expect to lead what Mark Deuze calls media lives.
The most interesting thing about celebrity is the way that it depends on the appeal of the ordinary.
Bam Margera: from ordinary pranks to global celebrity
Why Begin with celebrity?
Celebrity represents mediatization; the idea that media and social life are indivisible.
The primary 'reality effect' of media is that they provide us ideas and stories that we use to make sense of the world, and ourselves.
Celebrity is a powerful example of how this works, since it trades in ideas of authenticity and ordinariness. Celebrities are either just like us, or else anyone can become one.
This disguises the fact that only those who can fit into established media narratives can become a celebrity.
Some scholars think that the main 'effect' of celebrity is that it creates the idea that one's existence needs to be validated through media. This describes a particular and pervasive form of media dependency-a good life isn't possible without a mediated life.
This is the theme of the unit-researching how the beliefs, hopes and identities of young people are connected to the media resources at their disposal.
These are deep, structural effects that media have on the way young people orientate themselves to the world.
Celebrity explains how media industries turn everyday people and places into global media dramas


Learning Outcomes
Pick a celebrity who appeals to young people. How can his or her success be attributed to the organisation of media

To do this, you need to be able to explain how:

Media industries turn real people into celebrities
Changes in global media industries expand the range of people who become celebrities
Celebrity helps us to explain the blending of media and everyday life.
You Should be able to answer the first essay question:
Underlying Question about media influence
Relevant literature
Case Study: Bam Margera
Australian Olympic snowboarder Belle Brockhoff
Her Stand on LGBT rights connected with several narratives...
Exercise-Celebrity encounters
Which celebrities attract your attention? It doesn't have to be someone you like.
How did you become aware of them?
Where do you encounter them? i.e. what media forms do they appear in? Has this changed over time?
What do you think explains their celebrity?
What might this celebrity be 'about', in terms of cultural themes?
Ellis Cashmore
Expert on race, sport, celebrity.
Book on soccer player David Beckham an early example of the 'transmedia branding' that concerns Turner.
Explains why talent does not guarantee enduring celebrity.
David Beckham's main talent has been his ability to change his image to suit the needs of global media brands-including football clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy.
Ronaldo and Messi. Talent and fame don't a celeb make.
David Rowe
"Media sports cultural complex" (2004)
Sport is at the heart of commercial struggles in global media.
Sport is a weapon used in battles to draw audiences too and across different media platforms.
The celebrity identities of athletes are a vital resource in this regard. Individual athletes are brands used to attract audiences and revenues.
Sports celebrities aren't new; but the intensity and scale of SPORT CELEBRITY, and its integration within media business, certainly is.
'Celebrity' is a resource even for those who are simply trying to fund their careers. This is one example of how 'celebrity' has come to exist as an everyday reality.
Lesson: Celebrity explains how media turn everyone and everything into a potential 'media spectacle'.
Watch this video. How is a real incident-an after school fight-turned into a media event that a global audience would recognize?
What about your own celebrity encounters?
Have you ever met a celebrity? What was it like?
Was there anything about this event that surprised you? Did you find that you had pre-existing expectations about what would happen?
Does this tell you anything about particular effects?
Viva La Bam
Bam's Unholy Union
A career made from teenage pranks?
What's the difference between Bam and Corey?
One of the first stars of extreme sport, attracts audiences to...
Satellite Radio
Like David Beckham, his ability to attract attention soon became more important than his athletic prowess.
And the point is...
Bam Margera is a celebrity because he can sell a story about being ordinary-just a guy who wants to have fun with his friend-to an array of media businesses.
He explains why celebrity is such a major feature of modern culture, for two reasons.
Sport has long been the vanguard for the penetration of global media into new markets. Celebrity athletes are major players in this process.
More generally, celebrity is also the product of media industries that rely on ordinary people and places for content.
Margera is unique as a figure who performs both functions.
He has the additional attraction of playing on familiar 'Home Alone' teen narratives.
That is...
We aren't going to be asking if ads make teens drink, or if video games make them kill.
We are going to be researching how media affect how young people think the world is, how they think it should be, and how they do things to become the people that they want to become/
Final exercise
Go back to step 5.
Which ideas from this lecture and Chapter 9 best fit your celeb?
What media industries do you need to research to explain their celebrity?
Using an online search tool such as "Communications and Mass Media Complete", can you find any academic research on them?
Russia, LGBT rights, freedom of speech
The Olympics as political spectacle
Global LGBT rights as celebrity issue
Belle Brockhoff is a brave, talented woman who also fit with existing media narratives
Full transcript