Chapter 9: Success Just for Being You: Opportunity in the Internet Age

  1. Besides technological changes, what other important economic and social changes have taken place in the last two decades? How have these changes impacted the coverage of celebrities?
  2. How do people who are “famous for being famous” reflect the Horatio Alger myth? Dispel the myth?
  3. Compare and contrast the opportunities for fame in the internet age with broader economic shifts in the United States.
  4. Discuss the relationship between consumption and celebrity culture today.
  5. How have declines in revenues for traditional journalism impacted celebrity coverage in recent years?
  6. How and why did so-called reality television emerge? How has it altered the nature of celebrity culture?
  7. Who is most likely to profit from reality television? Why are some people better able to maximize their income by revealing their private lives than others?
  8.  Discuss how celebrity coverage today reflects ambivalence about overspending, consumption, and credit?
  9. How do celebrity stories provide lessons about both upward and downward mobility? Describe assumptions about both forms of mobility embedded in celebrity coverage.
  10. Imagine if celebrities did not exist. What do you think would be different in our society? Is it even possible to imagine American society without celebrities? If so, why?
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