PHD defence: Social Media Celebrity. An Investigation into the Latest Metamorphosis of Fame.
Promotores: prof. dr. J.M.E. Blommaert, prof. dr. J.W.M. Kroon
Copromotor: dr. P.K. Varis
Locatie: Cobbenhagengebouw, Aula (ingang via Koopmansgebouw)
Social Media Celebrity: An Investigation into the Latest Metamorphosis of Fame
Fame is metamorphic, as it is determined by a sense of socially recognized individuality and the modes of communication in a given society. Modern celebrity is distinguished from previous forms of public visibility by its cultural preoccupation with personality and appearance, as well as its reliance on an industrial infrastructure for production and dissemination. By investigating social media celebrity from the perspectives of cultural meanings, industrial infrastructure, political significance and social function, the study finds that social media celebrity on the one hand maintains continuities with, and on the other hand manifests rupture from the traditional celebrity culture. The circulation of a socially meaningful cultural trope, be it about a personal sense of individuality or a political dissenting opinion, is increasingly reliant on the manipulation of platform popularity metrics and an effect of user appropriation on social media. In this sense, the cultural logic of social media is transforming fame in contemporary societies from a predetermined human representation of the Zeitgeist to an effect of communicative practices of social media users.
Mingyi Hou conducted her PhD project at the Department of Culture Studies at Tilburg University, the Netherlands