Celebrity in the ‘Twitterverse’: history, authenticity and the multiplicity of stardom Situating the ‘newness’ of Twitter

Sarah Kate Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Analyses within celebrity studies of the increasing use of Twitter as an effective tool of communication by stars and their fans emphasise shifts in the parameters of stardom. The convergence, connection and the potential for interactive address between star and audience that the online platform creates appears to position the concept of stardom in the twenty-first century as something new. This article argues that while Twitter may represent a deviation from older models of stardom, there remain important continuities and contexts between ‘old’ and ‘new’ celebrity behaviours and media forms. It argues that Twitter exposes, rather than creates, the multiple ways in which stardom and celebrity status can exist and be analysed, and that many online practices characterised as new have clear antecedents in wider histories of stardom. It suggests that much of the value of exploring celebrity Twitter accounts lies in how the site, its usage and its content, renders historical negotiations around the construction and presentation of stardom visible. In order to do this, it draws upon a range of examples –with a particular focus on the Twitter account of John Cusack – examining how the management of online behaviour and identity illustrates significant debates around the subject of authenticity within celebrity culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-255
JournalCelebrity Studies
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Twitter
  • stardom
  • authenticity
  • history
  • multiplicity

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