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Synopsis

This is the first book to explore the phenomenon of glamour and celebrity in contemporary Russian culture, ranging across media forms, disciplinary boundaries and modes of inquiry, with particular emphasis on the media personality.

The book demonstrates how the process of ‘celebrification’ in Russia coincides with the dizzying pace of social change and economic transformation, the latter enabling an unprecedented fascination with glamour and its requisite extravagance; how in the 1990s and 2000s, celebrities - such as film or television stars - moved away from their home medium to become celebrities straddling various media; and how celebrity is a symbol manipulated by the dominant culture and embraced by the masses. It examines the primacy of the visual in celebrity construction and its dominance over the verbal, alongside the interdisciplinary, cross-media, post-Soviet landscape of today’s fame culture.

Taking into account both general tendencies and individual celebrities, including pop-diva Alla Pugacheva and ex-President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the book analyses the internal dynamics of the institutions involved in the production, marketing, and maintenance of celebrities, as well as the larger cultural context and the imperatives that drive Russian society’s romance with glamour and celebrity.

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