The study of audience relations with star / celebrity culture has often been marginalised in Star/Celebrity Studies. This book brings together new research which explores a range of audience encounters with celebrities, moving across social media, royal weddings, national identity to questions of age, gender and class. In doing so, the essays illuminate the complex and negotiated nature of audience investments in celebrity culture, collectively questioning the often simplistic and dismissive judgements that are made about audience/ celebrity relationships in this regard. The book provides a dedicated space to showcase a range of current work in the field, seeking to both consolidate and stimulate what is a vibrant and crucial aspect of studying celebrity culture.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Audiences for stardom and celebrity 1. Celebrating with the celebrities: television in public space during two royal weddings 2. Using stars, not just ‘reading’ them: the roles and functions of film stars in mother–daughter relations 3. ‘Cristiano Ronaldo is cheap chic, Twilight actors are special’: young audiences of celebrities, class and locality 4. Celebrity culture and audiences: a Swedish case study 5. Wrestling with grief: fan negotiation of professional/private personas in responses to the Chris Benoit double murder–suicide 6. ‘I love you, please notice me’: the hierarchical rhetoric of Twitter fandom 7. Swivelling the spotlight: stardom, celebrity and ‘me’
Martin Barker is Emeritus Professor at Aberystwyth University, UK. He is currently Principal Investigator on the international Hobbit project, exploring audience reactions around the world to Peter Jackson’s films, as part of a larger exploration of the role of ‘fantasy’ in the lives of audiences.
Su Holmes is Reader in Television at the University of East Anglia, UK. She is the author of several books on British television, and co-editor of books including In the Limelight and Under the Microscope: Forms and Functions of Female Celebrity (2011), and Women, Celebrity and Cultures of Ageing (2015).
Sarah Ralph is Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at Northumbria University, UK. She has published in Celebrity Studies, Participations and Critical Studies in Television, and has recently co-authored (with Martin Barker, Kate Egan and Tom Phillips) Alien Audiences: Remembering and Evaluating a Classic Movie (2015), a book based on an international audience study of Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien.