Archive for April 8th, 2015

April 8, 2015

Celebrity Culture


The religious texts of the world’s faiths are replete with examples of individuals who are well known by the general public. Some of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt set in motion devices to ensure their own fame for centuries to come. Herostratus, a young Greek man arsoned the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) in 356 BCE in order to immortalize his name. Although authorities at the time tried to expunge him from history and punished people with the death penalty for even merely mentioning his name, he succeeded in achieving lasting fame, as his name is well known to this day.

Celebrity culture, once restricted to royalty and biblical/mythical figures, has pervaded many sectors of society including business, publishing, and even academia (scilebrities). With every scientific advance names have become attached to discoveries. Each nation or cultural community (linguistic, ethnic, religious) has its own independent celebrity system (e.g. J-Pop), but this is becoming less the case due to globalization. Mass media has increased the exposure and power of celebrity.

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