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Fanning the Flames of Fandom: Celebrity Worship, Parasocial Interaction, and Stalking

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Abstract:

We live in a society fascinated with celebrity. Celebrity only exists to the extent fans exist, but fans sometimes become attached to celebrities, and engage in parasocial interaction (i.e., view the celebrity as a 'virtual' presence in their lives). Especially for fans whose entertainment needs are high, and who are therefore likely to seek gratification of primary needs through entertainment, it is predicted that the likelihood of linking a celebrity to higher-order life goals is more likely to occur. For these fans, this linking is likely to reinforce investments in fan activity, which further reinforces the frustration and needs surrounding contact with the celebrity. This cascade of psychological processes is likely to lead to fans' obsession with celebrities, and this in turn will lead to harassment and stalking of celebrities. This study seeks to assess celebrity worship and idolization, entertainment needs, parasocial interaction and media connectedness, and fan activity and harassment. The prediction is that the higher the respondents' celebrity worship, connectedness, and parasocial interaction, the greater their use of fan activities and harassment.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

celebr (247), 2 (196), 1 (167), fan (142), p (79), relat (76), person (68), pursuit (61), worship (58), stalk (55), activ (54), relationship (52), fandom (51), goal (48), obsess (46), 4 (44), spitzberg (43), scale (43), interact (43), flame (42), l (42),

Author's Keywords:

Parasocial interaction, celebrity, fans, stalking
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Association:
Name: International Communication Association
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http://www.icahdq.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p169035_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Spitzberg, Brian. and Cupach, William. "Fanning the Flames of Fandom: Celebrity Worship, Parasocial Interaction, and Stalking" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, TBA, San Francisco, CA, May 23, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p169035_index.html>

APA Citation:

Spitzberg, B. H. and Cupach, W. R. , 2007-05-23 "Fanning the Flames of Fandom: Celebrity Worship, Parasocial Interaction, and Stalking" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, TBA, San Francisco, CA Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p169035_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: We live in a society fascinated with celebrity. Celebrity only exists to the extent fans exist, but fans sometimes become attached to celebrities, and engage in parasocial interaction (i.e., view the celebrity as a 'virtual' presence in their lives). Especially for fans whose entertainment needs are high, and who are therefore likely to seek gratification of primary needs through entertainment, it is predicted that the likelihood of linking a celebrity to higher-order life goals is more likely to occur. For these fans, this linking is likely to reinforce investments in fan activity, which further reinforces the frustration and needs surrounding contact with the celebrity. This cascade of psychological processes is likely to lead to fans' obsession with celebrities, and this in turn will lead to harassment and stalking of celebrities. This study seeks to assess celebrity worship and idolization, entertainment needs, parasocial interaction and media connectedness, and fan activity and harassment. The prediction is that the higher the respondents' celebrity worship, connectedness, and parasocial interaction, the greater their use of fan activities and harassment.

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