Project Title

Celebrity Worship and the Modern Fan

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - Communication & Media

Faculty Sponsor Name

Laura Beth Daws

This exemption was granted because the research was completed in the context of the classroom for learning purposes.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

With the rise of social media, it has never been easier to consume content about your favorite celebrity. The purpose of this research is to analyze the effect social media has on the extreme behavior of fans engaging in celebrity worship online. Through a content analysis of YouTube content related to extreme fan behavior as well as a series of interviews conducted with celebrity worshipers, this research indicates that social media had notable effects on spending habits, health and wellness, body image, and social hierarchies within fan communities. The most interesting trend I found was the role that celebrity worship and social media usage have in contributing to consumerism and financial commitment that is seen as validating the passion a fan has for their celebrity of choice. By documenting their celebrity worship online, fans can prove themselves as devoted members of an in-crowd that values high spending on everything from concert tickets to exclusive merchandise. Additionally, celebrity worshippers are likely to exhibit the desire to achieve celebrity in some form or another. This could mean attaining notoriety through their respective communities as an elite member of the hierarchy, or it could mean recreating the beauty standards they see through the screen. This research serves as a starting point for more in-depth research concerning fan communities impacted by social media and the lust for celebrity fantasy.

Project Type

Event

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Celebrity Worship and the Modern Fan

With the rise of social media, it has never been easier to consume content about your favorite celebrity. The purpose of this research is to analyze the effect social media has on the extreme behavior of fans engaging in celebrity worship online. Through a content analysis of YouTube content related to extreme fan behavior as well as a series of interviews conducted with celebrity worshipers, this research indicates that social media had notable effects on spending habits, health and wellness, body image, and social hierarchies within fan communities. The most interesting trend I found was the role that celebrity worship and social media usage have in contributing to consumerism and financial commitment that is seen as validating the passion a fan has for their celebrity of choice. By documenting their celebrity worship online, fans can prove themselves as devoted members of an in-crowd that values high spending on everything from concert tickets to exclusive merchandise. Additionally, celebrity worshippers are likely to exhibit the desire to achieve celebrity in some form or another. This could mean attaining notoriety through their respective communities as an elite member of the hierarchy, or it could mean recreating the beauty standards they see through the screen. This research serves as a starting point for more in-depth research concerning fan communities impacted by social media and the lust for celebrity fantasy.