Skip to content | Accessibility Information

Elliott, A., 2018.

Routledge Handbook of Celebrity Studies

Output Type:Chapter in a book
Publication:Routledge Handbook of Celebrity Studies
Brief Description/Editor(s):Elliott, A.
Pagination:pp. 271-284

It is something of a truism to observe that celebrity is a ubiquitous phenomenon in contemporary societies. As many commentators have observed, in the last century there has been an increase in the coverage of celebrities in the media. Reasons for this are numerous, including wider social shifts towards more secular and consumer-capitalist societies in the West, and the impact of globalisation and technological change that thrives through the creation and circulation of popular figures. Of most importance, of course, has been the rapid growth of mass media during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: the rise of the popular news press, cinema, radio and television, then the Internet, social networking sites/platforms and other digital communication technologies. The presence of multi-channel digital television, radio and the Internet in the majority of households by the turn of the twenty-first century, and the rise of mobile media and communications services, feed the requirement for media industries to reach and monetise audiences to serve their shareholders. Audiences represent an essential commodity that circulates through capitalist culture, and celebrity attracts audiences and offsets the risks and costs inherent in cultural production in a crowded attention economy.