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Celebrity capital: redefining celebrity using field theory

Driessens, Olivier (2013) Celebrity capital: redefining celebrity using field theory. Theory and Society, 42 (5). pp. 543-560. ISSN 0304-2421

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s11186-013-9202-3


This article proposes to redefine celebrity as a kind of capital, thereby extending Bourdieu’s field theory. This redefinition is necessary, it is argued, because one of the main limitations shared by current definitions of celebrity is their lack of explanatory power of the convertibility of celebrity into other resources, such as economic or political capital. Celebrity capital, or broadly recognizability, is conceptualized as accumulated media visibility that results from recurrent media representations. In that sense, it is a substantial kind of capital and not a subset or special category of social or symbolic capital, the latter being defined as legitimate recognition by other agents in a social field. Rather than adding another definition of celebrity next to many others, the notion of celebrity capital proposed here should be seen as an attempt to integrate the existing approaches of celebrity into a single comprehensive conceptualization that can enable us to grasp this societal and cultural phenomenon better.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Springer, Part of Springer Science+Business Media
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2014 11:04
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 18:33

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