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Living the dream? A critical history of the ‘ordinary person’ in the media.

The lecture discuss 'ordinary people' in the media from pre-war radio to today's contemporary media culture.

Currently, there is in media and cultural studies, a growing interest in notions of the ‘ordinary’. In part this relates to the increase in opportunities for ‘ordinary people’ to appear in the media, but it also derives from key critical perspectives on contemporary media culture. This lecture examines these perspectives and puts them in a historical context. ‘Ordinary lives’ have been a focus of documentary interest and ‘ordinary people’ have featured as media performers since the days of pre-war radio. There have however been significant historical shifts in how the ‘ordinary’ has been understood and represented. Since the 1960s it has developed a complex interplay with notions of ‘celebrity’ to the point where, nowadays, the ‘celebrification’ of the ordinary person is common. Opportunities are increasing for ordinary people to become celebrities not only in broadcasting but also in new social media and various forms of ‘web presence’. The concluding part of the lecture examines some of these recent developments and critically interrogates their cultural significance.


Professor Andrew Tolson | talks | www


Date and Time:

16 October 2008 at 6:00 pm


1 hour



The Queens Building, De Montfort University
De Montfort University
The Gateway
0116 257 7452

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Organised by:

Professorial Lecture Series
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Additional Information:

Places must be booked in advance as there are limited places. There will be a free drinks reception afterwards to further discuss the event. To book a place, or for more information email Daniel Jones on djones@dmu.ac.uk or telephone 0116 257 7452.

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