The Effects the Media has on Celebrities and on American Society

The Associated Press, “New California Paparazzi Law Could Also Hurt Newspapers.” Editor and

Publisher. 30 Dec 2005. Editor and Publisher. 8 May 2008

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<http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=

1001772570>.

This article addresses the laws in California that restrict the paparazzi from causing harm in the pursuit of a photograph. There are arguments supporting both the rights of celebrities and the right of the paparazzi to take pictures. Mostly, this article helps to illustrate how often the lives of celebrities are intruded by cameras. It proves that this type of intrusion is a big problem, because the state of California wrote a law to stop it.

Brown, William, Fraser, and Benson. “Media, Celebrities, and Social Influence: Identification with Elvis Presley.” Mass Communication and Society 5(2002): 183-206. In this article the authors use Elvis as an example to illustrate how powerfully celebrities influence society. This work includes an interesting study that seems to prove that fascination with celebrities can often lead to idolization and worshiping. The study, conducted on Elvis impersonators, demonstrates that society tends to identify with celebrities by copying their values and changing their own lifestyles in an attempt to be more like those who they look up to. This article helps solidify the argument that society tends to copy the behavior of celebrities, whether good or bad.

Christiansen, Kirsten., Dank, Meredith., Patten, Meredith. and Wu, Amanda. “Celebreality: The Perpetuation of Celebrity Stalking in Western Society” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, CA, Nov 01, 2006 Online <PDF>. 2008-05-07

<http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p125562_index.html>

                This paper, presented by four criminologists, discusses the fascination of humans with celebrities by asserting that the media only encourages such an unhealthy fascination by constantly referring to their status and fame. Furthermore, providing that this type of media only results in the rise of celebrity idolization and stalking. This paper will help stress the negative affects of the media surrounding celebrities on society.

Donahue, Deirdre. “‘Fame Junkies’ is Hooked on Celebrity Behavior.” USA Today (2007): 1d.

This article explains how society is obsessed with celebrity gossip, by reviewing a book written by Jake Halpern. It includes the startling results of a study conducted on young middle school girls. In the study girls were asked what their dream jobs were, and 43% responded that they would rather be an assistant to a celebrity, before being a senator, the president of Harvard or Yale, and a Navy Seal. This only strengthens the topic, and shows us that no one is immune to the celebrity influence.

Donaldson-Evans, Catherine. “Will Britney Spears’ Pantyless Antics Hurt Her Case?.” Fox

News.com. 1 Dec 2006. Fox News. 8 May 2008

<http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,233458,00.html>.

This article discusses the media frenzy with Britney Spears, and how the attention ultimately affects her everyday life. The author explains how her actions which are broadcast on television for the world to see, hurts her custody battle for her children. This article will be helpful in illustrating how the media has the potential to harm celebrities by intruding on their lives.

Hildin, Julie. “Does Celebrity Destroy Privacy.” Findlaw. 2 Apr 2002. Findlaw.com. 8 May 2008

<http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hilden/20020402.html>.

            This webpage discusses the First Amendment and the disclosure of private information about celebrities from the perspective of the law. The author explains the Hypocrisy Theory, which allows certain private information to be made public. This is a good argument to address in the paper because it goes against the thesis, and also illustrates that sometimes even the law cannot protect the private life of a celebrity.

Lajvardi, Faridondin. “Our Misplaced Sense of Celebrity Hurts All.” The Arizona Republic 28 Apr 2008 8 May 2998 <http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/0428lajvardi28.html>.

            This article was written from the perspective of a teacher, and addresses society’s affect on children and the public school system. The author asserts that our country is far to wrapped up in the media hype surrounding celebrities. Rather than paying attention to people who contribute to society, we worship the dysfunctional lives of people like Britney Spears. The author believes that this habit negatively affects children and the quality of education in our country. This article strongly supports the topic by illustrating yet another view from a person who deals with children on a daily basis.

Perse, Elizabeth. Media Effects and Society. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence ErlbaumAssociates, Inc., 2000.

            Elizabeth Perse, professor of mass communications at The University of Delaware, uses this book to discuss the effects of the media on the attitudes of the individuals of society. On pages 164-196 she specifically addresses the idea of socialization as a negative affect of the media. She asserts that what we see influences our own way of thinking and behaving. This introduces an entirely new idea to the topic, there is a scientific term for society’s behavior, further supporting the idea that the media negatively affects the public.

Saltzman, Joe. “The Anti-Celebrity, the Media, and the Public.” USA Today Magazine Jan 2003: 35.

            This article was written by Joe Saltzman, associate mass media editor at USA Today, and professor of journalism at the University of Southern California. His work points out that most often, the media focuses solely on what he refers to as, ‘the anti-celebrity’, rather than those celebrities who are worth looking up to. This idea illustrates the idea that since people generally watch or read the stories of badly behaved celebrities, society is most likely to be influenced negatively.

Walls, Jeannette. “For Celebs, Price of Fame is Rising.” MSNBC. 20 Oct 2006. MSNBC. 8 May 2008 <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15221535/>.

            In this article the author discusses some of the side effects of living a life publicly without any privacy. The page explains how lack of privacy has affected celebrities like Britney Spears and Nicole Richie, and especially asserts that these celebrities ask for the attention they receive. The article also includes some great quotes from stars such as George Clooney and Ben Affleck, and how they feel about their privacy or lack thereof.

 

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