Celebrity Culture and the American Dream: Stardom and Social Mobility

ISBN 10: 0415886783 / ISBN 13: 9780415886789
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"... a good book to add to an introduction to sociology course if you want to give your students a good sense of how sociology analyzes culture and media....There is a lot in the book and Sternheimer does a good job of weaving together hard sociological data on stratification, inequalities, wage and labor trends to the narrative promoted by the celebrity culture along with changes in the structure and power relations in the industry itself. The book is an easy read with a lot of illustrations from celebrity magazines and so is very appropriate for undergraduate audiences."―Global Sociology

Using examples from the first celebrity fan magazines of 1911 to the present, Celebrity Culture and the American Dream considers how major economic and historical factors shaped the nature of celebrity culture as we know it today. Equally important, the book explains how and why the story of Hollywood celebrities matters, sociologically speaking, to an understanding of American society, to the changing nature of the American Dream, and to the relation between class and culture. This book:

  • Explores the relationship between celebrity culture, consumption, class, and social mobility
  • Discusses social changes pertaining to class, gender, marriage and divorce, and race
  • Includes numerous pictures from fan magazine articles and ads
  • Examines the connections between celebrity culture and economic, political, and social changes
  • Considers the importance of the structure of the entertainment industry to understand how celebrity culture is manufactured

About the Author:

Karen Sternheimer is a sociologist at the University of Southern California, where she is a faculty fellow at the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching. She is also the author of Connecting Popular Culture and Social Problems: Why Media is not the Answer (2009), Kids These Days: Facts and Fictions About Today’s Youth (2006), It’s Not the Media: The Truth About Pop Culture’s Influence on Children (2003), and is the editor and lead writer for everydaysociologyblog.com. She has provided commentary for CNN, MSNBC, The History Channel, and Fox News.

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Title: Celebrity Culture and the American Dream: ...
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