Celebrity Culture and Crime: The Joy of Transgression by R. Penfold-Mounce

By R. Penfold-Mounce

Within the twenty first century celebrities and superstar tradition flourishes. This book explores the much famous yet little analyzed dating among big name and crime. Criminals who develop into celebrities and celebrities who develop into criminals are tested, drawing on Foucault's thought of governance.

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Celebrity Culture and Crime: The Joy of Transgression (Cultural Criminology)

Within the twenty first century celebrities and star tradition prospers. This book explores the much famous yet little analyzed courting among superstar and crime. Criminals who turn into celebrities and celebrities who turn into criminals are tested, drawing on Foucault's conception of governance.

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Particular emphasis will be placed upon celebrity as social control emerging from the culture industry and how it is providing identity and social solidarity in contemporary society. Rediscovering the culture industry Horkheimer and Adorno’s (1997) Dialectic of Enlightenment critiqued the early twentieth century’s societal and cultural development of mass communications through the concept of the culture industry. The concept of the culture industry, according to Steinert (2003), was developed with an inherent duality which has been lost in the English 38 Culture Industry and Foucauldian Governmentality 39 translation and subsumed under a single term.

255). Heroes achieve greatness through the well-knownness they gain because of their actions. These heroic actions often involve defeating monsters, combined with epic journeys, as encapsulated by Raven’s (2007) retelling of Beowulf and his battle with the monster Grendal, a Sea Hag and finally a dragon. Celebrities have replaced heroes but without the responsibility of heroic status. Heroes ‘embodied the best of their people’s convictions and hopes. They consciously aspired to live in such a manner to us to serve as examples for the rest of society’ (Sherman, 1992: 26).

It appears that the hero in celebrity culture is faceless, an icon held up as great but portrayed by more well-known celebrity individuals with faces that are swiftly recognizable. While heroism and greatness are being undermined and destroyed in celebrity culture, important ethical and moral philosophical considerations are raised. For with the destruction of the hero in celebrity culture there is also a decline in clear-cut good and evil. As Bauman (1993) points out, the contemporary world is making it more difficult to make moral decisions.

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