Elena D’Amelio

in Cinema and Media Studies

ISBN: 9780199791286
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

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Although fascination with the film star dates back as far as Béla Balázs’s The Visible Man (1924), the study of stars and stardom did not become a commonplace of film studies until the 1980s. The discipline that first approached the mechanics of contemporary celebrity was sociology, which produced some important works in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Barthes 1972, Morin 2005 (both cited under Theorizing Stardom), and Alberoni’s The Powerless Elite (1963) were among the first works to address stardom’s cultural and ideological implications from, respectively, semiotic, philosophical, and sociological standpoints. These three books were all published in late 1950s and early 1960s, a time when celebrity culture was increasingly visible. These studies set the stage for an exploration of stardom, culture, and ideology that culminated with the publication of the influential work Dyer 1998 (cited under Theorizing Stardom). The author introduced the idea of the “star text,” a concept that stretched beyond an artist’s performances in films to include fan magazine articles, advertising posters, personal biographies, and rumors about actors, all of which contribute to the experience of modern celebrity. Since then, “stardom” has encompassed numerous issues in academic film studies, including the star as historical entity; the star as discursive formation and cultural commodity; the role of audience and fandom in the construction of the star; and the star as the intersection of cinematic language and technique with larger historical dynamics, such as gender, sexuality, youth, politics, and fashion.

Article.  5253 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies ; Film ; Radio ; Television

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