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Claims To Fame : Celebrity in Contemporary America (94 Edition)

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Claims To Fame : Celebrity in Contemporary America (94 Edition) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

"Gamson has brilliantly analyzed the complexities of celebrity as a cultural form. He gives us an insider's account, without going native. He provides us with a critical overview, without overlooking the messy details of celebrity-making and its central place in American society. Claims to Fame is a must for all those who seek to understand American public culture."—Jeffrey C. Goldfarb, author of The Cynical Society: The Culture of Politics and the Politics of Culture in American Life

"The most thoughtful and thoroughgoing sociological analysis I know of this strange and ubiquitous phenomenon, celebrity. Intricately argued and elegantly written, frequently amusing and properly alarming, Claims to Fame deftly avoids either undervaluing or overvaluing the gullibility of the consumers of celebrity. Gamson—to use his own words—'mines . . . superficialities for their depths' and gives us more insight into the culture of entertainment than a dozen treatises on the 'resistant' potential of Madonna."—Todd Gitlin, University of California, Berkeley

"The best general account we have of the economic and representational parameters of contemporary celebrity. Claims to Fame would be worth reading simply for its lively and wonderfully detailed description of the 'celebrity industry' in Los Angeles. Yet, by tying this description to a compelling argument about the nature of our investment in celebrity images, the book does much more. It should have an important place in future discussions of the mass media and American culture."—Richard deCordova, DePaul University, author of Picture Personalities

"Insightful, well-written, replete with telling anecdotes, Claims to Fame demonstrates how one can critically analyze American culture without sneering at the American people."—Gaye Tuchman, author of Making News

Synopsis:

Moving from People magazine to publicists' offices to tours of stars' homes, Joshua Gamson investigates the larger-than-life terrain of American celebrity culture. In the first major academic work since the early 1940s to seriously analyze the meaning of fame in American life, Gamson begins with the often-heard criticisms that today's heroes have been replaced by pseudoheroes, that notoriety has become detached from merit. He draws on literary and sociological theory, as well as interviews with celebrity-industry workers, to untangle the paradoxical nature of an American popular culture that is both obsessively invested in glamour and fantasy yet also aware of celebrity's transparency and commercialism.

Gamson examines the contemporary "dream machine" that publicists, tabloid newspapers, journalists, and TV interviewers use to create semi-fictional icons. He finds that celebrity watchers, for whom spotting celebrities becomes a spectator sport akin to watching football or fireworks, glean their own rewards in a game that turns as often on playing with inauthenticity as on identifying with stars.

Gamson also looks at the "celebritization" of politics and the complex questions it poses regarding image and reality. He makes clear that to understand American public culture, we must understand that strange, ubiquitous phenomenon, celebrity.

About the Author

Joshua Gamson is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Yale University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520083530
Author:
Gamson, Joshua
Publisher:
University of California Press
Author:
A M G
Author:
son, Joshua
Location:
Berkeley :
Subject:
General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Sociology, anthropology and archaeology
Subject:
Popular Culture
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
Customs & Traditions
Subject:
Celebrities
Subject:
Rich & Famous
Subject:
United States Social life and customs 20th century.
Subject:
Celebrities -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
Subject:
United States Social life and customs.
Subject:
Popular culture -- United States -- History.
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
9362
Publication Date:
19940331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
270
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.63 in 15 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Asia and Far East
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Australia and Oceania
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » US History » General

Claims To Fame : Celebrity in Contemporary America (94 Edition) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$23.00 In Stock
Product details 270 pages University of California Press - English 9780520083530 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Moving from People magazine to publicists' offices to tours of stars' homes, Joshua Gamson investigates the larger-than-life terrain of American celebrity culture. In the first major academic work since the early 1940s to seriously analyze the meaning of fame in American life, Gamson begins with the often-heard criticisms that today's heroes have been replaced by pseudoheroes, that notoriety has become detached from merit. He draws on literary and sociological theory, as well as interviews with celebrity-industry workers, to untangle the paradoxical nature of an American popular culture that is both obsessively invested in glamour and fantasy yet also aware of celebrity's transparency and commercialism.

Gamson examines the contemporary "dream machine" that publicists, tabloid newspapers, journalists, and TV interviewers use to create semi-fictional icons. He finds that celebrity watchers, for whom spotting celebrities becomes a spectator sport akin to watching football or fireworks, glean their own rewards in a game that turns as often on playing with inauthenticity as on identifying with stars.

Gamson also looks at the "celebritization" of politics and the complex questions it poses regarding image and reality. He makes clear that to understand American public culture, we must understand that strange, ubiquitous phenomenon, celebrity.

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