The working class, ordinary celebrity, and “illegitimate” cultural work

Wood, H., Kay, J. B. and Banks, M. (2017) The working class, ordinary celebrity, and “illegitimate” cultural work. In: Deery, J. and Press, A. (eds.) Media and Class: TV, Film, and Digital Culture. Routledge: New York, NY, pp. 117-130. ISBN 9781138229785 (doi: 10.4324/9781315387987-8)

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This chapter interrogates the ways in which the terms of labour are deployed in the literature around "reality" celebrity. It outlines the structural changes within the media industries that have facilitated the rise of ordinary celebrity, and how reality television and social media in particular have generated new labour models and forms of exploitation. The celebrity offers an "opportunity structure" amidst the fast-retreating possibility of working-class people obtaining any kind of secure or high-status careers in media, creative, and cultural work. The chapter provides a general plea for more sustained and situated investigation into the labour politics, practices, and organisation of ordinary celebrity. It argues for attending closely to the labour of ordinary celebrity, its relation to broader inequalities within work and employment, its denigration as a form of "illegitimate" labour, and its relationship to the structural formations of class.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Banks, Professor Mark
Authors: Wood, H., Kay, J. B., and Banks, M.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Published Online:16 October 2017

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