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Celebrity culture and public connection: bridge or chasm?

Couldry, N. and Markham, Tim (2007) Celebrity culture and public connection: bridge or chasm? International Journal of Cultural Studies 10 (4), pp. 403-421. ISSN 1367-8779.

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Media and cultural research has an important contribution to make to recent debates about declines in democratic engagement: is for example celebrity culture a route into democratic engagement for those otherwise disengaged? This article contributes to this debate by reviewing qualitative and quantitative findings from a UK project on 'public connection'. Using self-produced diaries (with in-depth multiple interviews) as well as a nationwide survey, the authors argue that while celebrity culture is an important point of social connection sustained by media use, it is not linked in citizens' own accounts to issues of public concern. Survey data suggest that those who particularly follow celebrity culture are the least engaged in politics and least likely to use their social networks to involve themselves in action or discussion about public-type issues. This does not mean 'celebrity culture' is 'bad', but it challenges suggestions of how popular culture might contribute to effective democracy.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Democratic engagement, celebrity culture, popular culture, diaries, public connection
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > Film, Media and Cultural Studies
Depositing User: Tim Markham
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2012 09:55
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33

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