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Adrift or ashore? Desert Island Discs and celebrity culture

Littler, J. (2017). Adrift or ashore? Desert Island Discs and celebrity culture. In: Brown, J., Cook, N. and Cottrell, S.J. (Eds.), Defining the Discographic Self: Desert Island Discs in Context. (pp. 93-106). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780197266175

Abstract

Why do we want to imagine celebrities as adrift, as banished from the rest of the world, and yet, at the same time, to find out more about them? The idea of celebrities as 'intimate strangers', with the media providing us with privileged access to the alleged 'real' person 'behind' a distanced, glossy façade of superstardom, has long been a constituent element of modern celebrity culture. Desert Island Discs' capacity to use and perpetuate such motifs has been a key reason for its success. At the same time, the programme also registers shifts in celebrity culture: towards a less white and male-dominated demographic, towards the hyper-intimate confessional, and towards expanding celebrity power. In this chapter I consider how Desert Island Discs connects to changing formations of celebrity culture, to ideas of meritocracy, and to a social culture of individualization.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Adrift or ashore? Desert Island Discs and celebrity culture by Littler, J.,2017 in Brown, J., Cook, N., & Cottrell, S.J. (Eds.) Defining the Discographic Self: Desert Island Discs in Context (pp. 93-106), reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press, https://global.oup.com/academic/product/defining-the-discographic-self-9780197266175?cc=gb&lang=en&#
Publisher Keywords: celebrity, individualism, intimacy, meritocracy, power
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18608
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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