Talking Miley: The Value of Celebrity Gossip
This chapter examines the value of celebrity gossip for young teenage women. Through a social media case study of Miley Cyrus, fan gossip is explored through the ways it is formally sanctioned and informally produced; speaks to gender identity and relations; and is interacted with, shared and transcoded by teenage women as they go about their daily lives. Social media was selected as a key resource for data collection and analysis because a number of sites are the primary spheres of engagement between teen celebrities and their adolescent fan base. Our overriding research questions are: (1) What is entertaining about this gossip? Why and how are teenage girls being entertained by it?; (2) Is the gossip in the service of gender norms or does it have productive outcomes and if so, what gendered themes emerge in the way teenagers talk about Miley? and (3) What cultural ‘value’ emerges from or out of the way gossip is produced and consumed?
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