This dissertation deals with the socio cultural nexus between masculinity as well as stardom, through a study of the following elements:
These two elements are crucial to the study of masculinity and stardom in the contemporary society as they adhere to the basic notion that celebrities represent something for the people who take interest in their lives - fans as well as critics. Therefore, this kind of influence ahs led stars to become brands in themselves. This theory helps look at the aspect of masculinity through the case studies of Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury.
Born on the 29th of August, 1958, Michael Joseph Jackson has been hailed as the superstar of the music world. Having sold millions of albums worldwide, he is an ageless icon who redefined the theory of brand equity. His every move has been recorded and highly publicised by the media whether it involves his move to the Persian Gulf, or the controversies that surround him. (Jefferson, 2006)
One of the biggest controversies that surrounded Michael Jackson included cases of child molestation. The once divorced father of two has been subject to court trials during 1993. His humanitarian efforts were completely ignored as the media frenzy began about whether or not he was in the wrong. (Jefferson, 2006)
In the case of Michael Jackson, it may be seen that there were two aspects to the perception of masculinity. To begin with, he had been married and divorced, and to make matters worse he did not have a long time girlfriend, which made him all the more susceptible in the eyes of the media. His brand of masculinity was not well received. Further, when the colour of his skin began to change he was accused by many of being a man and yet being affected about his looks. (Jefferson, 2006)
Freddie Mercury was a legend in his lifetime, who created a record of sorts in the history of rock. Born on the 5th of September, 1946, he died on 24th of November, 1991. Freddie Mercury also had his fair share of controversies which had to do with his masculinity more than anything else. (Bronson, 2003). He was a part of the famous rock band called Queen. To begin with, Freddie Mercury was open about the fact that he was bi sexual, which made him a target for the media more often than not. There have been allegations that he died of HIV. An Indian Parsi by descent, there have been numerous cases of ethnic discrimination as far as Freddie Mercury is concerned. His career was riddled with many controversies and these only fuelled the media furore about his masculinity. (Bronson, 2003)
Public Sphere and Media - Definition
The way a celebrity leads his or her life is always held up under tight scrutiny by the media. Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury have been no exception in this case. The way the media portrays them has a large bearing on how the public looks at their masculinity. As far as the role of the public sphere in our lives is concerned, the media has projected it as that element of communication which basically operates in the public sphere. This public sphere or space where mass decisions are made, has come to trigger various changes apart from supporting those transitional factors which have their genesis in globalisation, post modernism, culture and multiculturalism, with deep rooted encouragement from the information age - one which is