COMM 477 - The Mass Media and Celebrity Culture
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Communication Studies (COMM)
Department: LSA Communication Studies
Credit Exclusions:
No more than three credits from COMM 450-490.
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of department.
Enforced Prerequisites:
Declared Communication Studies seniors ONLY.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This capstone course examines the explosive rise of celebrity culture since the mid-1970s and its colonization of virtually every media form and genre, from niche cable channels to the news to the proliferation of celebrity journalism and magazines in the early 21st century. The course explores the mass media’s need for and role in the manufacture, maintenance and expansion of celebrity culture in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and considers the consequences of that culture on the media themselves and American culture. Celebrity journalism — in the form of gossip columns and movie and fan magazines — used to be on the margins of the mass media. So unlike the usual story of the mass media in the late 20th century — the dividing up of “the mass” into niches — this is a story about how a niche form came to colonize and dominate the center. The course analyzes this development and also focuses on the methods and sources used to study such a trend. Readings focus on theories of celebrity, the history of celebrity production, the ideological work done by celebrity culture, and the pleasures and consequences of celebrity culture.

Intended Audience:

Declared Communication Studies SENIORS only.

Class Format:

Seminar twice weekly for 1.5 hours each.

COMM 477 - The Mass Media and Celebrity Culture
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
Note: Capstone reserved for declared Communication Studies seniors only.
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9781405179836
Hollywood Stardom, Author: von Paul McDonald., Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publ. 2013
ISBN: 0520083539
Claims to fame : celebrity in contemporary America, Author: Joshua Gamson., Publisher: University of California press [Reprint.] 1994
ISBN: 0385094027
The presentation of self in everyday life, Author: Erving Goffman., Publisher: Doubleday [Nachdr.] 1990
ISBN: 9780745682198
Reading Celebrity Gossip Magazines., Publisher: Polity Pr 2014
ISBN: 0816627258
Celebrity and power : fame in contemporary culture, Author: P. David Marshall, Publisher: University of Minnesota Press 2. print. 1998
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