Katie Price and Nicki Minaj: Changing perceptions

Written by Heather. Posted in News

katiepeterBefore starting on the CelebYouth project,  Aisha was vaguely familiar with some of our case study celebrities, though she knew very little about them. She had heard of Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, Emma Watson, Will Smith, Katie Price, Tom Daley, Beyonce and Justin Bieber. However, this project introduced her to Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Mario Balotelli and Bill Gates. Over the course of three months of working closely with the celebrity case studies in coding data including their music videos, newspaper articles about them, their biographies and Twitter feeds she became increasingly familiar with these celebrity personalities and their mediation. In this post Aisha explores her journey as a researcher and the ways in which she responded to specific celebrities. She shares how the process of the research impacted on her perceptions towards celebrities, using Katie Price and Nicki Minaj as examples.

Jenna Marbles and the Queer Art of Failure

Written by Heather. Posted in News

We learnt about a lot of things from the young people who we interviewed for this project. YouTubers opened up a whole new world of micro-celebrities, people whose fame derives from their channels on this website rather than via the more traditional media of television and film. Although there’s a growing number of influential young women beauty vloggers, the YouTubers who came up in our data were mostly male gamers, animators or comedians. But two women stood out: Tampon Girl who was hated and Jenna Marbles who was loved. As we explored their channels, Jenna Marbles struck us as someone challenging dominant ideas around women, weight loss and fashion. In her latest and 200th video, which we discuss in this post, she challenges dominant ideas of aspiration, success and the future.

Who’s affected by celebrity?

Written by Heather. Posted in News

Most of us see the mass media as something from which other people need protecting. We,  in contrast, view ourselves as having the strength to withstand its influence and the insight to see through its lies. Usually these other people are younger than us and they’re more likely to be male than female, and more likely to be working class than middle class. This tendency to see other people as vulnerable to media corruption has been found so often in research studies that it’s become called ‘the third-person effect’. In this post Heather looks briefly at how far this came through in our group interview data.

CelebYouth Conference (with soundfiles)

Written by Heather. Posted in News

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On the 10th and 11th July, we hosted our end of award event to celebrate and reflect on the past two years of researching young people and celebrity culture. 22 months, 6 schools, 148 young people, 24 group interviews, 51 individual interviews, nearly 4000 minutes of interview data, 12 celebrity case studies… We couldn’t quite believe the end (or at least the official end) was here….

Goodbye Aisha

Written by Heather. Posted in News

So the project officially ended last week. This means that the money stops flowing. This also means that Aisha, our wonderful researcher, has left Brunel – though we hope to have her back for a month in the autumn to do some writing. Aisha was only on the project for three months but in that time she presented with us in London and Chicago, tweeted and blogged @CelebYouthUK, designed a fabulous pull up banner, watched and made notes on videos of Prince Harry, Nicki Minaj, Katie Price and Mario Balotelli, and coded these and the rest of the case study dataset.  Most recently she helped Heather direct a series of short films based on our data (coming to a YouTube channel near you soon). You can see the multi-talented Aisha in her comedy debut below.

 

Thank you

Written by Heather. Posted in News

Now we are about two weeks from the official end of the project, we (Heather, Kim, Laura and Aisha) thought it might be a good moment to say thank you to all the people who’ve supported us. While acknowledgements are a standard part of a book or dissertation, people don’t normally get the chance to do the same for a research study. Having this website, gives us this lovely opportunity…

A report from ‘A sense of inequality’ workshop – Manchester

Written by Kim. Posted in News

Last week, Laura and Kim were invited to speak at a brilliant one-day conference organised by CRESC and the University of Manchester, entitled ‘A sense of inequality’.  They drew on findings from the project to  attend to young people’s everyday negotiations and understandings of inequality. In this short blog post, Laura and Kim give a brief report on their presentation and the day itself.

War, nonviolence and popular culture

Written by Heather. Posted in News

Anzac_poppiesWhen Michael Gove spoke out against what he saw as unpatriotic myths about the First World War, his main targets were drawn from popular culture: the film Oh, What a Lovely War! and the television series The Monocled Mutineer and Blackadder. In this way, he acknowledged the crucial role of the popular media in how we come to think about war and violence. This is not to suggest that the media somehow causes violence. As Stuart Hall pointed out, there is no “smooth line of continuity … between shoot-outs at the OK Corral, and delinquents knocking over old ladies in the street in Scunthorpe” but what we do get from the media are “messages about violence” and these deserve our critical attention. In this post, Heather discusses some of these messages about violence in the coverage of war and exploring the place of nonviolence in these.

Racism in US Sport

Written by Heather. Posted in News

Racism is one element of sports that leagues all over the world have been trying to eradicate. Despite these efforts, instances of racism continue to pop up in diverse range of sports across the globe, as Aisha points out when she asks “Is it ok to be racist sometimes?”. Sports in the United States are no different in this regard. In this post, guest-blogger Scott Huntington shows that recent history has seen a number of racial controversies in U.S. sports.

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