Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Media & Communication; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Lisa Holderman

Second Advisor

Alan Powell

Third Advisor

Michael Dwyer

Abstract

Richard Dyer’s Stars and general studies analyze the unusual phenomena surrounding influential film stars and their unmitigated power to compel and amaze those outside of the spotlight. His studies separate the theory into three intermingling parts: stars as a social phenomenon, stars as images, and stars as signs. There are many components in Dyer’s studies that can be extracted and used in analyses of particular actors and actresses. However, this does not solely revolve around film stars. In this analysis, I will be examining the famous pop music icon and recent actress, Lady Gaga. Through an analysis of her style, consumption, social interaction, and many personas, I will be expanding on Dyer’s theory of celebrity/stardom and Horton’s and Wohl’s theory of parasocial interaction and relationships. My goal is to show, through her experiences and transformations, the inner-workings of stardom, and the pressure it places not only on the stars themselves, but also on the public, who look for advice and attention from those they place on pedestals.

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Richard Dyer's Star Theory Applied to Musician/Actress: Lady Gaga

Richard Dyer’s Stars and general studies analyze the unusual phenomena surrounding influential film stars and their unmitigated power to compel and amaze those outside of the spotlight. His studies separate the theory into three intermingling parts: stars as a social phenomenon, stars as images, and stars as signs. There are many components in Dyer’s studies that can be extracted and used in analyses of particular actors and actresses. However, this does not solely revolve around film stars. In this analysis, I will be examining the famous pop music icon and recent actress, Lady Gaga. Through an analysis of her style, consumption, social interaction, and many personas, I will be expanding on Dyer’s theory of celebrity/stardom and Horton’s and Wohl’s theory of parasocial interaction and relationships. My goal is to show, through her experiences and transformations, the inner-workings of stardom, and the pressure it places not only on the stars themselves, but also on the public, who look for advice and attention from those they place on pedestals.

 
 

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