The role of celebrities in mediating distant suffering

Scott, Martin ORCID: (2015) The role of celebrities in mediating distant suffering. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 18 (4). pp. 449-466. ISSN 1460-356X

[thumbnail of The role of celebrities in mediating distant suffering] Microsoft Word (The role of celebrities in mediating distant suffering) - Accepted Version
Download (121kB)


How effective are celebrities, not just in helping to draw attention to distant suffering, but in actually regulating spectators’ mediated experiences of the lives of distant strangers? What function does the perceived authenticity of a celebrity play in their role as mediator? This article seeks to address such questions by analysing the results of an audience study involving two phases of focus groups separated by a two-month diary study. The results show that celebrities certainly help to shape our mediated experiences of distant suffering – but not always in the ways and to the extent we might expect. What is clear is that celebrities are generally ineffective in cultivating a cosmopolitan engagement with distant suffering.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: authenticity,celebrity,celebrity humanitarianism,cosmopolitanism,distant suffering,humanitarian communication,mediation
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > The State, Governance and Conflict
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Cultural Politics, Communications & Media
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2015 21:08
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 21:33
DOI: 10.1177/1367877914530038

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item