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Is straight the new queer? David Beckham and the dialectics of celebrity

Rahman, Momin (2004) Is straight the new queer? David Beckham and the dialectics of celebrity. M/C Journal, 7 (5). ISSN 1441-2616

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Abstract

In his book, Understanding Celebrity (2004), Turner provides a comprehensive overview of the vast literature which has developed on issues of celebrity and fame, painting a broad picture of concerns divided between the significance of the apparent explosion in celebrity 'culture' and the focus on celebrities themselves. Within the literature on the social significance of celebrity culture, we can discern two key themes. First, celebrity culture is a manifestation of globalised commodity consumerism in advanced capitalism and second, its social function as a system of meanings and values which is supplanting traditional resources for self and social identities in late modern culture, including structures such as class, gender/sexuality, ethnicity and nationality. Whilst the authors mentioned above both draw on and contribute to these arguments, their focus remains broad, citing Beckham as a key manifestation of the complex interdependence between globalised sports and media industries, and transformations in gender and consumption. For example, although Cashmore's book is solidly researched on the impact of media finance on football and has a sound argument on the significance of consumerism, he is prone to generalisations about the transformations in masculinity and celebrity culture which he suggests are central to understanding Beckham's significance.