Self-Exposure

Human-Interest Journalism and the Emergence of Celebrity in America, 1890-1940

Author: Charles L. Ponce de Leon

Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press

ISBN: 0807862215

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 348

View: 660

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Few features of contemporary American culture are as widely lamented as the public's obsession with celebrity--and the trivializing effect this obsession has on what appears as news. Nevertheless, America's "culture of celebrity" remains misunderstood, particularly when critics discuss its historical roots. In this pathbreaking book, Charles Ponce de Leon provides a new interpretation of the emergence of celebrity. Focusing on the development of human-interest journalism about prominent public figures, he illuminates the ways in which new forms of press coverage gradually undermined the belief that famous people were "great," instead encouraging the public to regard them as complex, interesting, even flawed individuals and offering readers seemingly intimate glimpses of the "real" selves that were presumed to lie behind the calculated, self-promotional fronts that celebrities displayed in public. But human-interest journalism about celebrities did more than simply offer celebrities a new means of gaining publicity or provide readers with the "inside dope," says Ponce de Leon. In chapters devoted to celebrities from the realms of business, politics, entertainment, and sports, he shows how authors of celebrity journalism used their writings to weigh in on subjects as wide-ranging as social class, race relations, gender roles, democracy, political reform, self-expression, material success, competition, and the work ethic, offering the public a new lens through which to view these issues.
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Routledge Handbook of Celebrity Studies

Author: Anthony Elliott

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317691474

Category: Social Science

Page: 336

View: 7389

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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.
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Natural Born Celebrities

Serial Killers in American Culture

Author: David Schmid

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226738697

Category: History

Page: 327

View: 2325

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A historical account of how serial killers have become famous in American culture looks at the consequences of their fame and examines how that fame has been used in both the popular media and law enforcement, profiling a variety of notorious murderers and their influence on popular culture, from 1893 killer H. H. Holmes to terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
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Agustin Lara

A Cultural Biography

Author: Andrew Grant Wood

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199976740

Category: Music

Page: 384

View: 1830

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Few Mexican musicians in the twentieth century achieved as much notoriety or had such an international impact as the popular singer and songwriter Agustín Lara (1897-1970). Widely known as "el flaco de oro" ("the Golden Skinny"), this remarkably thin fellow was prolific across the genres of bolero, ballad, and folk. His most beloved "Granada", a song so enduring that it has been covered by the likes of Mario Lanza, Frank Sinatra, and Placido Domingo, is today a standard in the vocal repertory. However, there exists very little biographical literature on Lara in English. In Agustín Lara: A Cultural Biography, author Andrew Wood's informed and informative placement of Lara's work in a broader cultural context presents a rich and comprehensive reading of the life of this significant musical figure. Lara's career as a media celebrity as well as musician provides an excellent window on Mexican society in the mid-twentieth century and on popular culture in Latin America. Wood also delves into Lara's music itself, bringing to light how the composer's work unites a number of important currents in Latin music of his day, particularly the bolero. With close musicological focus and in-depth cultural analysis riding alongside the biographical narrative, Agustin Lara: A Cultural Biography is a welcome read to aficionados and performers of Latin American musics, as well as a valuable addition to the study of modern Mexican music and Latin American popular culture as a whole.
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Fortunate Son

The Life of Elvis Presley

Author: Charles L. Ponce de Leon

Publisher: Hill and Wang

ISBN: 0374707332

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 256

View: 1955

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Elvis Presley was celebrity's perfect storm. His sole but substantial contribution was talent, a fact Charles L. Ponce de Leon is careful to demonstrate throughout his wonderfully contextual Fortunate Son. Even as the moments of lucidity necessary to exercise that talent grew rarer and rarer, Elvis proved his musical gifts right up to the end of his life. Beyond that, however, he was fortune's child. Fortunate Son succinctly traces out the larger shifts that repeatedly redefined the cultural landscape during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, using Elvis's life to present a brief history of American popular culture during these tumultuous decades.
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