Gamson . . . does not dismiss critics who see ours as a culture in thrall to image, personality and spin doctoring over substance, character and analysis. But he believes that our responses are varied and contradictory: that we treat celebrity like sport, a belief system, a trivial pursuit and an outlet for catharsis or criticism. . . . Engaging.
The most thoughtful and thoroughgoing sociological analysis I know of this strange and ubiquitous phenomenon, celebrity. Intricately argued and elegantly written, frequently amusing and properly alarming, Claims to Fame deftly avoids either undervaluing or overvaluing the gullibility of the consumers of celebrity. Gamson—to use his own words—‘mines . . . superficialities for their depths’ and gives us more insight into the culture of entertainment than a dozen treatises on the ‘resistant’ potential of Madonna.
A graceful and cogent analysis of the twists and turns of the culture of show business celebrity, taking in everybody from Elizabeth Taylor to Angelyne. You’ll never look at ‘Entertainment Tonight or read the ‘Star’ quite the same way again.
Order from University of California Press here. Or from Amazon here.