Celebrity Gossip and the New Melodramatic Imagination

Celebrity Gossip and the New Melodramatic Imagination This article uses a range of media sources to ‘follow’ or ‘trace’ the well-known celebrity Miley Cyrus. Through the development of the concept of a new melodramatic imagination the case study develops the methodological potentials of the types of online archives that now exist. In this instance the authors exercise their own melodramatic imaginations to draw out substantive issues relevant to the case of Miley Cyrus. The article therefore has two aims, the first is the exploration of a particular approach toward understanding transformations in popular culture, and the second is to draw out the types of ‘grammar of conduct’ that face those who assemble the information about celebrities into consumable narratives. The piece considers how people, in what has been called the Web 2.0 context, assemble melodramatic narratives amongst celebrity gossip that might then shape everyday experiences, understandings and practices. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociological Research Online SAGE

Celebrity Gossip and the New Melodramatic Imagination

Celebrity Gossip and the New Melodramatic Imagination

This article uses a range of media sources to 'follow' or 'trace' the well-known celebrity Miley Cyrus. Through the development of the concept of a new melodramatic imagination the case study develops the methodological potentials of the types of online archives that now exist. In this instance the authors exercise their own melodramatic imaginations to draw out substantive issues relevant to the case of Miley Cyrus. The article therefore has two aims, the first is the exploration of a particular approach toward understanding transformations in popular culture, and the second is to draw out the types of 'grammar of conduct' that face those who assemble the information about celebrities into consumable narratives. The piece considers how people, in what has been called the Web 2.0 context, assemble melodramatic narratives amongst celebrity gossip that might then shape everyday experiences, understandings and practices. Keywords: Celebrity, Celebrity Gossip, Respectability, Miley Cyrus, Grammar of Conduct, Melodramatic Imagination ‘A minimal definition of gossip: “idle talk about other persons not present”.’ (Spacks, 1985: 26) Introduction 1.1 Readers of this journal will no doubt be familiar with the rapidly expanding range of academic literature dealing with the topic of celebrity (see for example Feasey, 2008; Penfold-Mounce, 2009; Cashmore, 2006; Redmond and Holmes, 2007; Rojek, 2004; Ferris, 2007). This area of study – dealt with in varying ways by sociology, cultural studies, and media studies – has now also found its way onto undergraduate degree programmes as the interest in studying celebrity and fame have continued to increase amongst cohorts of students who are enthusiastic about bringing their interests into their studies (a sentiment that both authors can strongly associate with). The challenge, as things stand, is to find things to say about the matter of celebrity that goes beyond an...
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Publisher
SAGE Publications
Copyright
© 2009 SAGE Publications and the British Sociological Association
ISSN
1360-7804
eISSN
1360-7804
D.O.I.
10.5153/sro.1878
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article uses a range of media sources to ‘follow’ or ‘trace’ the well-known celebrity Miley Cyrus. Through the development of the concept of a new melodramatic imagination the case study develops the methodological potentials of the types of online archives that now exist. In this instance the authors exercise their own melodramatic imaginations to draw out substantive issues relevant to the case of Miley Cyrus. The article therefore has two aims, the first is the exploration of a particular approach toward understanding transformations in popular culture, and the second is to draw out the types of ‘grammar of conduct’ that face those who assemble the information about celebrities into consumable narratives. The piece considers how people, in what has been called the Web 2.0 context, assemble melodramatic narratives amongst celebrity gossip that might then shape everyday experiences, understandings and practices.

Journal

Sociological Research OnlineSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2009

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