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date: 28 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Like all industries, the creative industries possess a highest stratum of workers, those who reap the greatest rewards. The creative industries, however, produce a peculiar type of individual success that is not simply rewarded financially. The financial rewards of the industry are also part and parcel of the ability for the artist to become part spectacle; a person whose contribution transcends their talent and also becomes a part of the larger entertainment complex. These individuals are, in common parlance, ‘stars’. Undoubtedly, stars and stardom have existed since the beginning of civilization. Yet our increased interest in celebrities in the 21st century is a function of two attributes of contemporary society: our desire to share collective experiences and information in an increasingly globalized and anonymous world and the information technology communication revolution that enables us to do so. In short, stars have become the ‘global water cooler’. This article considers the emergence of stars in their many forms, the role of social media and new entertainment in creating them, the commodification of the stardom phenomenon and the consumption and production processes by which stardom arises, and ultimately dissipates. Finally, this article discusses what these dynamics mean for the future of stardom in contemporary society.

Keywords: celebrity, stardom, creative industries, Hollywood, art market, cultural industries, entertainment industry, social media

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