This blog accompanies Robert van Krieken’s book published by Routledge in May 2012, also titled Celebrity Society. There’s an enormous amount of visual and video material that can’t be incorporated into the book, and this blog will make it possible to present those images and videos. It’ll also provide new stories as they emerge.
Here you’ll find shorter outlines of the ideas and arguments in the book, and links to online resources. The aim is to help make sense of the role and significance of celebrity in the world today, and to understanding how and why it makes sense to think in terms of a ‘celebrity society’.
It is a principal end of government to regulate this passion [for the esteem of others], which in its turn becomes a principal means of government. It is the only adequate instrument of order and subordination in society, and alone commands effectual obedience to laws, since without it neither human reason, nor standing armies, would ever produce that great effect. Every personal quality, and every blessing of fortune, is cherished in proportion to its capacity of gratifying this universal affection for the esteem, the sympathy, admiration and congratulations of the public. Beauty in the face, elegance of figure, grace of attitude and motion, riches, honors, every thing is weighed in the scale, and desired, not so much for the pleasure they afford, as the attention they command. John Adams, Discourses on Davilia, 1805: 28-29