Celebrity, Fame, and Social Interaction
Routledge – 2011 – 160 pages
The sociology of fame and celebrity is at the cutting edge of current scholarship in a number of different areas of study. Stargazing highlights the interactional dynamics of celebrity and fame in contemporary society, including the thoughts and feelings of stars on the red carpet, the thrills and risks of encountering a famous person at a convention or on the streets, and the excitement generated even by the obvious fakery of celebrity impersonators. Using compelling, real-life examples involving popular celebrities, Ferris and Harris examine how the experience and meanings of celebrity are shaped by social norms, interactional negotiations, and interpretive storytelling.
"Stargazing provides a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, feelings, and interactions of celebrities and their fans. Readers see into the dynamics of celebrity-fan interactions—from Oprah to Leonardo DiCaprio—with a healthy dose of sociological insight into each encounter. The text provides a captivating way teach microsociological concepts to undergraduate students and can be used in a wide array of courses."—James Holstein, Social and Cultural Sciences, Marquette University
"This text presents a richly-documented account of celebrity culture which, in a society of spectacle and celebrity, engages important problematics of the contemporary moment. Providing the most extensive examination so far on interaction between fans and celebrity, Stargazing contributes many original insights into celebrity culture and how fans interact with celebrities, deities of the present age."—Douglas Kellner, Social Sciences and Comparative Education, University of California, Los Angeles
"Stargazing is accessible and fun to read, even as it underscores and explicates the social processes and sensitizing concepts that undergird the best empirical studies that microsociology and social constructionist approaches have to offer. This makes the book an excellent choice for a wide range of courses in sociology at all levels, and it offers a fresh perspective for courses in cultural and media studies and speech communication as well."—Jennifer Dunn, Sociology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
1. The Sociology of Celebrity 2. The Dynamics of Fan-Celebrity Encounters 3. Seeing and Being Seen: The Moral Order of Celebrity Sightings 4.“Ain’t Nothing like the Real Thing, Baby” Framing Celebrity Impersonator Performances 5. “How Does It Feel to Be a Star?” Identifying Emotions on the Red Carpet 6.“When Did You Know that You’d Be a Star?” Attributing Mind on the Red Carpet 7. Conclusion: Studying the Interpretive
and Interactional Dimensions of Celebrity and Fame
Kerry O. Ferris is associate professor of sociology at Northern Illinois University. She works toward a sociology of fame using ethnographic methods and a symbolic-interactionist approach. Her work has been published in Symbolic Interaction, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, and Human Studies. Her current project examines small-market newscasters’ experiences of local celebrity.
Scott R. Harris is associate professor at Saint Louis University. His research centers on social interaction and social constructionism. His books include What Is Constructionism? Navigating Its Use in Sociology (Lynne Rienner 2010) and The Meanings of Marital Equality (SUNY 2006).