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Celebrity culture and public connection: bridge or chasm?

Couldry, Nick ORCID: 0000-0001-8233-3287 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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Identification Number: 10.1177/1367877907083077


Media and cultural research has an important contribution to make to recent debates about declines in democratic engagement: for example, is 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) and 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 that `celebrity culture' is `bad', but it challenges suggestions of how popular culture might contribute to effective democracy.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2007 SAGE Publications Ltd
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2013 11:30
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2024 16:51

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