Chapter 1: The American Dream: Celebrity, Class, and Social Mobility

  • Key point: Celebrity culture provides seemingly tangible examples that the United States offers social mobility to those special enough to achieve it
  • Throughout the past century, celebrity culture has been a central promoter of consumption
  • Celebrity stories can serve as both morality tales, highlighting their failures as examples of excess, and as ever-present examples of people who make it big in America
  • Defining Celebrity Culture: “Celebrity Culture” is the ephemeral atmosphere that surrounds fame, and includes the personal lives of the famous and the products sold directly or indirectly on the idea that their use will make the consumer be more like the celebrated
  • Celebrity stories provide visible examples of upward mobility in an allegedly classless society
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