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One re-enchanted evening the Academy Awards as a mediated ritual within celebrity culture

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This is a case study of the Oscars ceremony 2007, analysing how the awards show works as a mediated ritual within celebrity culture. In the analysis, I characterize the Oscars as an example of a live media event, and then I analyse how it is connected to celebrity culture and, eventually, I discuss whether it can be said to have religious affinities and perhaps even be an example of a replacement strategy for the decline in organized religion. In my analysis I combine sociological analysis of the media event genre as presented by Dayan & Katz, as well as Couldry, with cultural analysis of celebrity culture and stars as argued by Rojek, Turner, Morin and Dyer. On the basis of this analysis, I want to argue that the Academy Awards ceremony can be seen as a re-enchanted evening on several levels: as a live media event, a mediated ritual and as presenting glamorous stars as objects of identification.

Keywords: awards show; celebrity culture; media event; mediated ritual; religion; stars

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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