By R. Penfold-Mounce
Within the twenty first century celebrities and star tradition flourishes. This book explores the much famous yet little analyzed courting among star and crime. Criminals who turn into celebrities and celebrities who develop into criminals are tested, drawing on Foucault's concept of governance.
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Extra info for Celebrity Culture and Crime: The Joy of Transgression (Cultural Criminology)
As a result, no one today can reasonably doubt the existence, power or control of the spectacle (Debord, 1988: 5) despite its often artificial nature in celebrity culture. The power of spectacle is demonstrated through public fascination almost possessing ‘a life of its own’ (Baudrillard, 1981: 90). Public enjoyment of spectacle particularly of a transgressive nature is reflected in Margaret Atwood’s historical novel Alias Grace (1996), whose protagonist Celebrity, Fame and Culture 29 is based upon the mid-nineteenth-century Canadian murderess Grace Marks.
In other words, Ancient Rome, as now, used spectacle to justify the existing system’s conditions and goals by presenting itself as all of society, part of society and an instrument of unification (Debord, 1983: Paragraph 10). Subsequently, it is perhaps unsurprising that there is evidence of continued public fascination with spectacular violence and crime. Zizek (2002) suggests that reality is actually the best appearance of itself whereby the spectacular nature of contemporary society implies a passion for the real.
189). Therefore, celebrity in celebrity culture provides a substitute and remedy for the loss of a leadership figure and religion. It has become a valuable cultural capital as a fulfiller of hope, fantasy and success. Celebrity culture, where greatness is not only being depreciated but destroyed, is part of a historical shift in the constitution of Freud’s superego (1962). Superego as the ethical component of personality provides the moral standards by which the ego operates. Arguably internal motivations and controls are being significantly reoriented in contemporary society, and the fundamental force of the superego – guilt – holds less sway to carry out its traditional duty of bearing down upon the failure of the individual to be civilized and sociable.