Celebrity and Social Status – Feb.27th
- The notion of celebrity has changed over time
- Our conception of celebrity is a profoundly modern phenomenon
- The relationship between the rise of celebrity culture and new communication technologies
- How we can think of celebrity’s as communicative, how we deal with celebrity’s and how they
mirror our values
- How celebrity’s communicate themselves
- The discussion about social status at the heart of any celebrity. We talk about celebrity in
communication because it is a means by which we can think about communication and social
status. How it is all communicated. A sociological interest in social status, how it is distributed in
various contexts throughout time how people come to get the social status that they have.
- We have divided the world in different ways of higher middle and lower class.
- Max weber makes the argument that being part of a specific class, it determines the pathway of
where you will go, what doors will be open to you, entry into certain kind of things that middle
or lower class could not be a part of but higher class could
- Classes have been divided by capitalism and they are the product of the royal family and the
maintenance of power structure. These are all the ways in which people are divided in status.
- Celebrity happens to be a way we organize people into a certain status.
- Celebrity has to do with the state of being famous, state of notoriety
- Thinking about celebrity is to ask the question of how some people achieve the status of being
famous. What are the ways in which people become famous and what does that say about the
society that makes them that way.
- There are two different ways in which people become celebrity’s.
- The first way is to have your celebrity status ascribed to you, because of who of their bloodline.
For example prince harry he is famous because he is part of the royal family. A certain level of
fame because of who you are related to.
- The second way is that celebrity is achieved or accomplished. They do something that is seen as
either better than something done before. For example brad pitt who is a very good actor so he
is significantly famous even though there are many other actors.
- How do we make sense of celebrity?
- 1. Historical : we can say that the state of being famous has long been that part of social life, but
that nature of fame has changed and we can safely say that achieved status has become a
prominent way of achieving celebrity status rather than ascribed status.
- In pre - industrial society one was a celebrity by their access to their divine ex. The king
- Organised religion: way that normal people can connect to the divine.
- Going to church every week was the justification of that celebrity (the priest)
- What ties citizens together is not a divine connection but a national connection
- With that development comes the development of democratic systems that what makes up the
government are people not