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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

I know what Lindsay Lohan did last night: Celebrity gossip and its use of disciplinary power over women
by Simonsen, Lindy Christine Wille, M.A., The George Washington University, 2009, 96; 1461002
Abstract (Summary)

Celebrity gossip and the celebrity entertainment industry have been described as numerous things including: a lark, fluff journalism, the disintegration of high culture, a religion of the masses, and a form of indoctrination. While each of these descriptions is in part true they miss what is most important about celebrity gossip. The popularity and seemingly politically benign attitude that celebrity gossip embodies has allowed the messages about norms and ideals buried within it to spread with little question. The celebrity entertainment industry has become controlled by neoliberal capitalist and neoconservative entities intending to create standardized norms in which women cannot meet. The messages celebrity gossip disperses are a continued part of the conservative and capitalist anti-feminist agenda. As these entities become a larger and more prevalent part of Americana it is hard to ignore society's obsession with celebrity life-style and the impact it has on the masses.

In order to examine the neoliberal capitalist and neoconservative social ideologies that are being spread through celebrity entertainment, I look at the three roles women are categorized as in gossip: good-girl, bad-girl, and mother. Each of these celebrity images are used to control women and their bodies in order to create the docile bodies that the dominant system need in order to maintain power. Particular attention is paid to the most recent category of mother. This new aspect of celebrity gossip has taken the world by storm where every aspect of a celebrity's life is analyzed in order to find out if she is pregnant. This obsession and scrutiny over celebrity women's bodies is replicated through the general public as indicated by reactions of gossip readers to the gossip they read, and intended to subordinate the masses into adhering to norms and ideals that are beyond the reach of celebrities and the public alike.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ramlow, Todd
Commitee: Moshenberg, Daniel
School: The George Washington University
Department: Women's Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 47/03M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: American studies, Womens studies
Keywords: Body, Celebrity, Gossip, Mass media, Neoconservatism, Pregnancy
Publication Number: 1461002
ISBN: 978-0-549-95892-5
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