Boorstin, Daniel J. The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. New York: Vintage Books, 1992. Print.
Boorstin’s book The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America is a very early and perhaps the first description of hyperreality and postmodernity. Boorstin describes shifts in American culture—mainly as a result of advertising—in which the reproduction or simulation of an event becomes more “real” than the event itself. Coining the term “pseudo-event”, Boorstin describes events that serve little to no purpose other than to be reproduced through forms of publicity. I will probably focus on Boorstin’s explanation of celebrities, in which he states, “a celebrity is a person who is well-known for their well-knownness”. Boorstin’s analysis will help me understand the implications of celebrities’ involvement in political and social causes.
Braudy, Leo. The Frenzy of Renown: Fame & Its History. New York: Vintage Books, 1997. Print.
Leo Braudy’s influential work The Frenzy of Renown: Fame & Its History starts with Alexander the Great and goes on to detail some of the most famous people throughout history, from Julius Caesar to Marilyn Monroe. Braudy focuses on both the celebrities and their audiences and why we are so obsessed. Braudy explores how and why certain men and women have had the ability to captivate the attention of societies from 350 BC to 2009. The Frenzy of Renown will be especially beneficial to my research because of its emphasis on politics as opposed to only looking at celebrity presence in pop culture.
Holmes, Su. Framing Celebrity: New Directions in Celebrity Culture. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.
Su Holmes’ Framing Celebrity: New Directions in Celebrity Culture explores the sprawling presence of celebrity culture in our everyday lives. Not only does celebrity culture shape the production and consumption of media content but also the social values through which we experience the world. Framing Celebrity is a collective work that analyzes the phenomenon of celebrity from the angles of media, culture, and politics. Holmes’ book fits in with my research because it addresses the issues of celebrity involvement in social and political spheres that I am focusing on. The section entitled “Fame Now” will be particularly informative as it concentrates on celebrity in politics.
Jackson, David J., and Thomas I. A. Darrow. “The Influence of Celebrity Endorsements on Young Adults’ Political Opinions.” The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 10.3 (2005): 80-98. Print.
This journal article details a study performed by David Jackson and Thomas Darrow on the influence of celebrity endorsements on young adults’ political views, which is very applicable to my research. The article talks a lot about how politics and popular culture have become increasingly intertwined over the past fifteen years and what the implications of this phenomenon are. The authors admit that little scholarly research has been performed on the impact of celebrity endorsements on voter turnout; however, they provide a good summary of what has in fact been done. The conclusions presented in this article will provide me with solid evidence for my argument.
Marshall, P. David. The Celebrity Culture Reader. New York: Routledge, 2006. Print.
David Marshall’s The Celebrity Culture Reader is an 800-page compilation of works encompassing the theories, definitions, historical and current examples, and effects and implications associated with celebrity culture. From scandal to the notion of the celebrity industry, Marshall’s Reader covers essentially everything one could want to explore within the realm of celebrity culture. The broad scope of material within this one book will be incredibly useful, especially the chapters on celebrity involvement in charities and politics.
Pease, Andrew, and Paul R. Brewer. “The Oprah Factor: The Effects of a Celebrity Endorsement in a Presidential Primary Campaign.” The International Journal of Press/Politics 13.4 (2008): 386-400. Print.
Andrew Pease and Paul Brewer’s scholarly study focuses on the effects of celebrity endorsements of political candidates, specifically in a presidential primary campaign. Centering their research on talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, Pease and Brewer coin the term “Oprah effect”, indicating that when a big name with a significant amount of media exposure endorses a candidate, it is likely that people will be more willing to vote for said candidate. This study will be very helpful to my research because it will bring in actual numbers and statistics to back up my argument. It is one thing to say that celebrities influence public opinion, however, it is much more convincing to use actual studies to support the claims.
Street, John. Politics and Popular Culture. Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1997. Print.
John Street’s Politics and Popular Culture focuses on the link between the political sphere and popular culture. Street argues that we must understand politics as a form of popular culture and popular culture as a form of politics. He also explores the debate over whether this relationship is a form of manipulation or just a new means of expression and communication. Street’s book will be valuable to my research because it focuses solely on the integration of popular culture, including celebrity, into politics, which coincides perfectly with the questions I am trying to answer.