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Celebrity Culture and the American Dream: Stardom and Social Mobility

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This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 1/10/2011.
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Using examples from the first celebrity fan magazines of 1911 to the present, Celebrity Culture and the American Dream considers how major economic and historical factors shaped the nature of celebrity culture as we know it today. Equally important, the book explains how and why the story of Hollywood celebrities matters, sociologically speaking, to an understanding of American society, to the changing nature of the American Dream, and to the relation between class and culture. This book: Explores the relationship between celebrity culture, consumption, class, and social mobilityDiscusses social changes pertaining to class, gender, marriage and divorce, and raceIncludes numerous pictures from fan magazine articles and adsExamines the connections between celebrity culture and economic, political, and social changesConsiders the importance of the structure of the entertainment industry to understand how celebrity culture is manufactured

Author Biography

Karen Sternheimer is a sociologist at the University of Southern California, where she is a faculty fellow at the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching. She is also the author of Connecting Popular Culture and Social Problems: Why Media is not the Answer (2009), Kids These Days: Facts and Fictions About Today's Youth (2006), It's Not the Media: The Truth About Pop Culture's Influence on Children (2003), and is the editor and lead writer for She has provided commentary for CNN, MSNBC, The History Channel, and Fox News.

Table of Contents

List of Figuresp. IX
Prefacep. XIII
Acknowledgmentsp. XV
The American Dream: Celebrity, Class, and Social Mobilityp. 1
Beyond Subsistence: The Rise of the Middle Class in the Twentieth Centuryp. 25
Prosperity and Wealth Arrive: Boom Times and Women's Suffrage in the 1920sp. 50
Pull Yourself up by Your Bootstraps: Personal Failure and the Great Depressionp. 72
We're All in This Together: Collectivism and World War IIp. 95
Suburban Utopia: The Postwar Middle-Class Fantasyp. 116
Is That All There Is? Challenging the Suburban Fantasy in the Sixties and Seventiesp. 149
Massive Wealth as Moral Reward: The Reagan Revolution and Individualismp. 186
Success Just for Being You: Opportunity in the Internet Agep. 214
Notesp. 241
Selected Bibliographyp. 273
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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