Fame, Fans and Facebook. Hungarian Celebrities and their Admirers
AbstractBig Data presents the social sciences with an overarching challenge. Following many theoretical manifestos, we here present an empirical case study to demonstrate the new approaches that have become possible by using social media data in a specific field of cultural analysis. This paper reflects on changes in celebrity/fandom culture (Jenkins, 2006; Jenkins, Ito and boyd, 2015). The trend towards democratization was hastened by the spread of the internet, while the demotization of the process of celebrity creation became even more pronounced through web 2.0. Our study examines the relationship between the Hungarian celebrity sphere and social media fandom using quantitative research, including cross-sectional, network and correlation analyses. To illustrate the differences among the categories of celebrities and their fandom, we introduce two values—environmentalism and consumerism—which help to highlight existing patterns. Analysis of these dimensions can provide benchmarks for interpreting the thus-created proxies, and help us to reflect on the social roles of celebrities and their followers.
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