Anthropology | Celebrity and Fame in the Contemporary USA
A205 | 14624 | Marion

Why do stories about celebrities make headlines on CNN and in the New
York Times?  Who makes money off all those photos of Britney shaving
her head?  What is Paris Hilton famous for, anyway – and how did she
get there?  Why do we care so much in the first place?  If you’ve ever
wondered about questions like this, then put down your US Weekly and
enroll in this course!  Celebrity and fame are big businesses in this
country, and impact everything from our favorite personal catchphrases
to global political and economic trends.  To understand how this
phenomenon came about, where it might be going, and how it affects our
lives now, we’ll start by looking at the history of celebrity, fame,
entertainment, and public relations in the twentieth century US.
We’ll also examine celebrity case studies and different kinds of
celebrity and fame, such as in sports, politics, and business.
Finally, we’ll investigate the economic, institutional, and social
structure of celebrity production in the entertainment industry –
including the tabloid, gossip, and celebrity news industry – and we’ll
take an inside look at the world of paparazzi photographers.  That’s