Twenty-First Century Celebrity: Fame in Digital Culture

David C. Giles
University of Winchester, UK

Product Details
13 Sep 2018
Emerald Publishing Limited
256 pages - 138 x 216mm


Over the first two decades of the 21st century, celebrity has undergone significant changes as mass media have shifted from a restricted broadcast model to a digital free-for-all. Existing celebrities have been forced to adapt their style of presentation to suit a more interactive environment where fans expect continuous access, while the emergent social media have generated new forms of celebrity that reflect the unique affordances of YouTube, Instagram and other platforms. 

In this book, David Giles argues that these developments are best understood by rethinking traditional concepts of media and audience in order to explain how a platform like YouTube has evolved its own media culture that affords a different type of celebrity to those associated with cinema, radio and television. Above all else, the 21st century celebrity is valued more for their (apparent) authenticity than for their glamour or talents, and Giles examines how that authenticity is a carefully crafted performance. Drawing extensively on the burgeoning celebrity studies literature, he explores the impact of digital culture on earlier concepts like parasocial relationships and celetoids as well as critiquing more recent ideas such as microcelebrity.
Part One: Celebrity in Theory and Research 
1. Celebrity Studies and the Changing Media Landscape 
2. Towards a Theory of Media and Affordance 
3. Celebrities and Their Audience(s) 
Part Two: The Twenty-First Century and the Digital Imperative 
4. The 2000s: Reality TV and 'Micro-Celebrity' - Webcam Girls and Bloggers 
5. Twitter as 'Fundamental': The Obligatory Use of Social Media by Celebrities  
Part Three: New Forms of Celebrity 
6. YouTubers 
7. The Popularity and Appeal of YouTubers: 'Authenticity' and 'Ordinariness' 
8. Instagram and the Rise of the Social Media 'Influencer' (with Lucy Edwards)
9. "What Else Does He Do?" Meme Celebrities 
Part Four: The Future of Celebrity 
10. Snapchat, Persona Studies and Twenty-First Century Political Celebrity 
Postscript: Conclusions and Reflections
David C. Giles is currently Reader at the University of Winchester, UK. During the late 1980s, he was a music journalist in London after which he studied Psychology at the Universities of Manchester and Bristol. His many publications on the psychology of the media include Illusions of Immortality: A Psychology of Fame and Celebrity and Media Psychology. He is co-founder of the journal Qualitative Research in Psychology and of the international network MOOD (Microanalysis of Online Data).

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