Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame: The Rise of a Pop Star in an Age of Celebrity, by Mathieu Deflem (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

Mathieu Deflem

Published by Palgrave Macmillan, New York, January 2017.
ISBN: 978-1-137-58468-7 (ebook) 978-1-137-58467-0 (hardback)

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Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame: The Rise of a Pop Star in an Age of Celebrity by Mathieu Deflem, Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina, is published by Palgrave Macmillan in New York, January 2017.

"I want the fame."  –Lady Gaga, May 2008
"The last three years I spent trying to erase fame from my mind."  –Lady Gaga, September 2016
This book presents a sociological study of the conditions of fame in the world of contemporary popular music. Against the background of important transformations and a general decline of the popular music industry in recent years, the book specifically develops a case-study approach to investigate the rise to fame of global pop sensation Lady Gaga. This book adopts a distinctly sociological orientation situated at the intersection of the sociology of popular culture and music, on the one hand, and the sociology of fame and celebrity, on the other, in order to offer an empirical examination of the social conditions that facilitated Lady Gaga’s rise to fame from when the singer first released music in 2008 until her successful grab for global acclaim in the following years.
While this book is not the first to deal with the fame of a pop star, the reasons to undertake an analysis of the origins of the fame of Lady Gaga could not be further removed from the examinations of old that focused on fame in pop music and other forms of popular culture now dating back to relatively ancient times. In plain truth, the contemporary conditions of fame are of a different and relatively unique nature as any question on the rise to fame in the present day is centrally marked by critical transformations in popular culture, especially the music industry, and the virtually banal pervasiveness of an obsession with fame that marks our current celebrity culture.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Popular Culture and the Sociology of Fame
Chapter 2. The Life and Times of Lady Gaga
Chapter 3. The Business of Lady Gaga
Chapter 4. The Laws of Lady Gaga
Chapter 5. Gaga Media: From Internet to Radio
Chapter 6. The Audience of Lady Gaga: Beyond the Little Monsters
Chapter 7. Gaga Activism: The New Ethics of Pop Culture
Chapter 8. The Sex of Lady Gaga
Chapter 9. Art Pop: The Styles of Lady Gaga
Epilogue. Professor Goes Gaga: Teaching Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame

Advance Praise

The analysis of status is unique to sociology. Mathieu Deflem brilliantly confirms how the creation of Lady Gaga is part of a social process that creates celebrity against the backdrop of chaotic economic and moral conditions. Deflem methodically describes how fame can shape public attitudes toward controversial matters, leaving status embodied in traditional forms of professional expertise and institutional control less important than ever before.
          –Jonathan B. Imber, Jean Glasscock Professor of Sociology, Wellesley College

There are celebrities and there are mega-celebrities and then there is Lady Gaga. The star’s fame is only in small part built upon her voice and eye-popping costumes. Far more, it is her attitude: a cheerleader to all and sundry who had ever felt broken or dissed. Grasping the fullness of Gaga’s appeal, Deflem’s book is as appealing to her fans as it is for theorists of celebrity.
          –Deena Weinstein, Professor of Sociology, DePaul University

In this notable book, through careful theoretical insight and an in-depth analysis of Lady Gaga’s fame, Mathieu Deflem illustrates a new form of pop icon defying the transient nature of the cultural industry in the postmodern age. Deflem offers valuable lessons on the importance of social conditions, which include not only the market but also factors facilitating the activism and diversity orientation of pop artists seeking to gain fame.
          –Masaya Takahashi, Associate Professor, Saitama University

Professor Deflem’s study provides an intriguing and comprehensive exploration of the dynamics of Lada Gaga’s rise to fame. By the end, it is clear that there is no single one factor that serves as a predictor of future fame or commercial success. Those who work in or study the music industry should give this book a read.
          –Serona Elton, Associate Professor and Chair, Frost School of Music, University of Miami

This book delivers a stimulating sociological discussion of the mechanics behind fame and celebrity – aspects that have undoubtedly taken a stranglehold on American culture. Guiding the reader through the machinery for stardom using a lens focused on Lady Gaga’s determined path for fame, Professor Deflem’s book is an entertaining and educational read that provides a solid groundwork for further research in the area of celebrity.
          –Danwill D. Schwender, Attorney at Law 

Published Editions

Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame: The Rise of a Pop Star in an Age of Celebrity is available in hardback and ebook editions, which can be acquired directly from publisher Palgrave Macmillan as well as online and through various internet stores.Perfect Illusion 

See also related articles and essays on fame by Mathieu Deflem. #PerfectIllusion #Joanne Joanne