The Prize of celebrity - celebrity culture in Sweden
Michael Rübsamen’s thesis project is focused on the relationship between media and celebrity in the construction of celebrity status. Within the Swedish research community the study of celebrity is a particularly weak one, with only a handful of scholars working in the area. Aiming to fill the gap on the subject, this thesis focuses on four different case studies of Swedish celebrities, with the process of mediated construction of celebrity as the main focus. The thesis conceptualises celebrity as a mediated constructed phenomena, which involves interaction between the audience, the celebrity and the surrounding mass media. Within the thesis, the focus will be on the relationship between the media and the celebrity in question. Celebrity is seen and analysed within the thesis as a form of power elite status, which is established and maintained at the workings and doings of the celebrity in collaboration with the depictions of the celebrity in the media. By applying concepts of modernity and late modernity, the overarching aim of the thesis is to understand the construction of celebrity in regard to the changing nature of achievement. From a modernity where skill and craftsmanship were highly regarded, to a late modernity where talent and potential are valued more highly, this is also reflected in the view of celebrities. The thesis uses the careers of four cases to identify thematically interesting cases, such as the breakthrough, the broadened career and the dichotomy of personal/public space. Two of the cases have had long careers spanning more than five and three decades respectively, while two of the cases surfaced during the 2000s. The empirical data will consist of media texts depicting milestone moments in each case’s career, marking moments where the status or image of the celebrity has significantly changed.