Apr 17, 2017 #1
The concept of celebrity worship
Recent years have seen a wealth of research into the definition of celebrity worship and the general influence - whether it's a boon or it's disadvantageous, to adolescent students. At the beginning, scholars focused on defining the position of celebrities in the society, examining their representation. More recently, more researches are focus on the celebrity culture, that is, how celebrities affect the different social fields.
The concept of celebrity worship is not only a topic of media interest, but is now a focus of psychological investigation (Lorraine Sheridan, Adrian North, John Maltby, & Raphael Gillett, 2006). More than just being a casual fan, celebrity worship describes people's indefatigable obsession with their idols. People are hungry for every things about the celebrities they adore, eager to know what they're saying, wearing and even whom they are going with. Adolescent psychiatrist Dr Alan Ravitz (2015) from the Child Mind Institute in New York has pointed out that such kind of behavior can be considered as a natural spring forward in psychological and emotional independence. Counseling psychologist Meredith Fuller (2015) also apprised that celebrity-crushes can be a sign of young people individualizing themselves from parents. However, it is worth noting that several studies have demonstrated the negative effects of celebrity worship. McCutcheon et al. (2002) speculated that an introverted nature and lack of meaningful relationships among celebrity worshippers facilitate psychological absorption in an attempt to establish an identity and a sense of fulfillment. In addition, in a survey published by Cheung and Yue (2003) indicated that "idol worship" (idols being chiefly pop music and athletics celebrities) were more likely to have lower study performance, lower self-esteem and lower identity achievement.
While considerable attention has been paid in the past to research issues related to general effect of celebrity worship, a literature on detailed influence, issues like whether adolescents' academic performance and daily expenses are affected too has emerged only very slowly and in a more scattered way. In light of these concerns, this article has three purposes: (a) to provide a definition of celebrity worship; (b) to report on the effect of celebrity worship on college students' daily life; (c) to give advices on how to have a healthy interest in celebrity worship. The result of our study could be further used to study the effect of external factors on adolescents' social behavior for sociologists.
In this article, we'd like to find out whether there's a gender difference in celebrity worship - are female students more likely to have celebrity worship than male students? This is followed by two studies carried out to investigate the relationship between celebrity worship and Taiwanese college student's daily expenses, and the possible link between celebrity worship and student's academic performance.
The first chapter of the article is a review of the literature, addressing both empirical and theoretical aspects of the role of celebrity worship in student's life, followed by some background information on the ongoing research within which the present study was carried out and a statement of the specific research questions. The third chapter describes the methodology and procedures for the collection of data on how students think celebrity worship has affected their life. The results for the various analyses are presented following each of descriptive chapters. Finally, conclusions are presented and suggestions are made for further research.
1. Driessens, Olivier (2013) The celebritization of society and culture: understanding the
structural dynamics of celebrity culture. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 16 (6), 641-657.
2. Lorraine Sheridan, Adrian North, John Maltby & Raphael Gillett (2007). Celebrity
worship, addiction and criminality. Psychology, Crime & Law, 13(6), 559-571.
3. The Kids Are All Right. (2015). Teen idol - when does a celebrity crush become an
obsession? Retrieved April 14, 2016, from thekidsareallright.com.au/2015/healthandwellbeing/teen-idol-celebrity-worship-one-direction/