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

  • Key point: While celebrities and celebrity culture play diverse roles in American society, one of their central functions is and has been to provide visible examples of social mobility in America, helping Americans believe that we live in an open society and ignore structural barriers to upward mobility
  • So-called reality programs and Internet sites like YouTube promote the belief that celebrity and wealth are more attainable than ever
  • Coverage of celebrities’ private lives has expanded and overtaken traditional forms entertainment; a star’s primary vehicle now is their life, rather than their performances
  • Versions of the American Dream shift along with economic and political changes; perhaps the downturn in the economy and coverage of “stars who lost everything” will produce a new version which celebrity culture will reflect
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