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Celebrity Culture and the American Dream, Book of the Month, March 2011

Celebrity Culture and the American Dream by Karen Sternheimer (University of Southern California) is an ideal text for Introduction to Sociology, Sociology of Culture, or just general interest! In addition, the companion website has excellent resources for instructors.

View all Sociology Book of the Month articles.

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 mobility
  • Discusses social changes pertaining to class, gender, marriage and divorce, and race
  • Includes numerous pictures from fan magazine articles and ads
  • Examines the connections between celebrity culture and economic, political, and social changes
  • Considers the importance of the structure of the entertainment industry to understand how celebrity culture is manufactured

Click here for a video about the book.

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