The twenty-first century has seen an explosion in the ways and means in which children can become part of celebrity culture. With the rise in popularity of reality TV, child beauty pageants, talent shows, and social media platforms, as well as more established routes to fame through TV, cinema, theatre and music, the number of children establishing a presence in public life continues to proliferate.
Childhood and Celebrity brings together international scholarly writing and research about famous children, and representations of childhood, from a range of disciplines including Childhood Studies, Celebrity Studies, Cultural Studies and Film Studies in order to open up a theoretical space in which to explore and understand the complex relationship between contemporary childhood and celebrity culture.
This unique collection includes detailed case studies of specific child performers such as McCaulay Culkin and Miley Cyrus, histories of child stars in the ‘Golden Age’ of Hollywood, analyses of representations of children in film and discussions of children as media creators and producers. Key themes of transgression, gender, ‘coming of age’, childhood innocence and children’s rights recur in the chapters and present a compelling argument for the emergence of the field of Childhood and Celebrity as an area of study in its own right.
Introduction – Jane O’Connor and John Mercer
Section A: Childhood vs child celebrity
Section B: Post childhood celebrity – the transition to adulthood
Section C: Childhood, celebrity and the media