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The geography of celebrity and glamour: Reflections on economy, culture, and desire in the city

Authors
Journal
City Culture and Society
1877-9166
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
4
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ccs.2013.01.003
Keywords
  • Celebrity
  • Cities
  • Cultural Economy
  • Glamour
  • Star System
  • Urbanization
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Communication
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Political Science

Abstract

Abstract Our goal in this paper is to trace out the main lines of symbiosis that link the cultural economy with celebrity and glamour. We observe two trends emerging with great force in the 21st century: The commodification of celebrity and its trappings, and the democratization of celebrity across the globe. These phenomena emerge in the context of the modern city, and they constitute a dynamic nexus of developmental effects. We proceed by deriving celebrity and glamour out of the logic of commercialized cultural production in association with localized scenes, fandom, and a specific kind of economic and cultural infrastructure. We show that this logic is most intense in major world centers of contemporary capitalism. Celebrity and glamour have major economic impacts on these centers both through their integration into localized systems of agglomeration economies and their effects on the marketing and commercialization of culturally inflected outputs, producing winner-take-all geographies responsible for the individuals and scenes that maintain the celebrity ecosystem. We conclude the paper with a critical examination of the wider social and political meaning of celebrity and glamour and their relations to commodified culture generally.

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