When the University of South Carolina announced it was going to have a sociology course titled “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame,” it was a big story (as far as stories about sociology courses go). Lady Gaga herself recent commented on the course:
Lady Gaga’s attention to cultural detail has inspired a sociology course at the University of South Carolina called “Lady Gaga And The Sociology Of Fame,” which Gaga describes as a “wonderfully interesting art.”
“When you look back, movie stars sort of created their own sense of fame. Andy Warhol appropriated the fame of others in order to appropriate his own.”
“Especially in today’s media with social networking and cameras, everyone can take that same picture that the paparazzi used to take…It’s not so much about doing it as it is about embracing the art of it. And I think that’s what the course is about.”
I wonder if she has actually looked at what is going on in the course but she still makes an interesting point: “fame” and “celebrity” seems to be more concentrated in the hands of people seeking it now rather than requiring certain gatekeepers like the media. In the case of people like Andy Warhol or Lady Gaga, they can retain their celebrity by turning their own fame and the fame of others on its head to create and reinvent their own image.
This reminds me a discussion I occasionally run into: does creativity or originality today require creating something new or remixing older themes or piecess?
Another thought: will anyone really consider Lady Gaga an “artist” or is she more of a blip in the world of pop culture?
I will be curious to hear what Lady Gaga says or does when her popularity wanes. Will she just keep going over the top to try to attract fans or will she gracefully fade away knowing that her time is up?