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On a pedestal: celebrity through the ages

by The Open University

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

Why are some people elevated to iconic positions in society? This broad-ranging learning pathway takes a multidisciplinary approach to the idea of celebrity. ‘Celebrity status’ is commonly conferred on a select few in society. The pathway comes to the topic by looking at representation in religion, and inviting comparison with the more typical areas of sport and entertainment, but also to some extent in politics and business.

It goes on to explore the relationship between sport, sportsmen and women, and the media, which has an overwhelming influencing role. Who calls the shots – athletes, teams or the media moguls? The idea is explored more deeply by analysing the meaning of codes or signals used by the media. The pathway concludes by looking at celebrity from an historical viewpoint, exploring the idea of the Roman emperor controlling image and representation, and the artful portrayal of women in 18th Century England.
On a pedestal: celebrity through the ages
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