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Jeremiah Weir

Professor Litle


Paper 2-Summary and Response Commented [LE1]: Don’t include this.

6 March 2019

The Rise of the ‘Celetoid’

Media’s Corruption of Culture in Contemporary Society Commented [LE2]: There’s an extra space after the title—
get rid of it.

The article “The Mass Production of Celebrity: ‘Celetoids’, Reality TV and the ‘Demotic

Turn’” by Graeme Turner, which appeared in the September 2006 issue of the International

Journal of Cultural Studies, explores the subject of the proliferation of celebrities who are mass

produced by reality television, DIY websites, and talk radio. It analyzes the impact of this

development on worldwide culture and examines how these illusions of authenticity have

become implanted in the audience’s lives, making these charades entertainment for mass

consumption. This rise in ‘celetoids’, a term coined by Chris Rojeck, (Rojek, qtd. in Turner 156)

has increased the media’s wealth, power, influence, and centrality to the average citizen’s life

while subsequently altering our ideals, values, and perceptions of everyday reality. I agree with

Graeme Turner on many of his points, especially in regard to media’s influence on culture and

identities through ‘celetoids’ and the falsified genuineness of reality television. However, I

disagree with Turner’s assessment of the driving force behind these tactics, and of his assertion

that media is an independent source of power rather than a mediating apparatus. With these

things in mind, we will explore the issues that Graeme Turner addresses in his article along with
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my own thoughts on his conclusions, which I mostly agree with but expand on, but with one

major difference concerning the governing entities behind the media’s modus operandi. Commented [LE3]: Instead of telling us “what we will
explore” tell us why seeing the differences in Turner as you
do is important or how understanding Turner as you do
Here are some key terms from the article for the sake of clarity. ‘Demotic Turn’ is a term
helps us. We don’t need to know “what we will explore”
because we will know that when we read your paper. What
the author developed that he uses to define the mass production of celebrity status from ordinary we do need to know is why your thesis matters, so we are
encouraged to read more.
people (Turner 153). His definition of ‘ordinary’ in this context is stated as “the individual with

no particular talents which might give them expectations of work in the entertainment

industry…” (Turner 156). The term ‘celetoids’ expresses the idea of people that Rojek calls

“accessories” of the mass communication culture (Rojek qtd. in Turner 156). Essentially, it is a

reference to temporary and expendable celebrity status, a “shift from the elite to the ordinary”

(Turner 154). Commented [LE4]: Finish the paragraph to not end on

someone else’s idea. Conclude that these two terms are
most important to know when reading Turner because they
According to Turner, the mass production of temporary and expendable celebrities from
are used a lot for more complex discussions of media.

common people has in many ways begun to redefine modern culture, recreate personal and

collective identities, and elevate morally depraved behavior in society, thus perpetuating and

encouraging negative cultural and behavioral patterns. This, in turn, reinforces the media’s Commented [LE5]: Missing citation with page ranges on
which these ideas occur.
power and influence through financial and social means. The sheer volume and variety of

celebrities made available through this model have served to turn the media from a conduit or

facilitator of ideas to a creator of ideological models, making the media its own power source. Commented [LE6]: Missing citation

This also gives the media far greater control over its artisans by regulating them through every

step of the production process, from pre-conception all the way through the post-production


I personally agree with many if not most of the points that Turner makes; however, I

agree for reasons that differ from some of those presented by him. Having long viewed the role

of media through the lens of a Christian world-view, I see a subtle manipulation of the populace Commented [LE7]: Also acceptable as one word
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to accept shallow, depraved, and destructive values and behaviors. Many of these reality

television programs encourage the worst of human traits and trivialize them as a form of

entertainment, insidiously yet incessantly implanting distorted ideas of what is acceptable

behavior into our subconscious minds. The most common method I see employed in this Commented [LE8]: Turner also discusses this in the
conclusion of the article. Mention that to accurately
summarize him.
endeavor is to portray virtues or strong moral values as rigid, oppressive, intolerant, and boring,

while refraining from showing the horrors on the other side of the equation absent these


I believe that Turner is right about the media’s role in constructing our culture, identities,

and values (162). The illusion of authenticity created by these shows and their ‘celetoid’

characters has completely eroded society’s sense of truth and diverted its moral compass,

cultivating a cheap, shallow, and unfulfilling replacement for life along with false expectations.

While we are led to believe that this trend grants equal access to stardom for anyone, after further Commented [LE9]: Democratainment from Turner—bring
that up and summarize Turner’s concept for your audience.
examination, we find that there is a completely manufactured selection process for it where every

detail is staged. In my estimation, it greatly devalues the actors involved.

The one point where I disagree with Turner is that the media is operating solely in the

interest of its own benefit and continued existence (159). It is my belief that it is serving in the

capacity of a propaganda machine for much larger entities with a grand agenda of lulling the

minds and hearts of the masses into ignorance, apathy, and depravity for purposes of moral and

intellectual control. Obviously, it needs financial gain to maintain its position of power and its Commented [LE10]: Really interesting point—provide an
example to “show” the audience.
continuity, but I do not think it is operating independently from outside governing agents with

their own designs for its uses. In short, the media is really a tool, as opposed to a self-guiding

machine. As I am aware that some of these statements may seem rather cryptic, I will now

elaborate on what I mean. I am referring to the battle against spiritual armies of evil spoken of in
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the New King James Version of the Holy Bible in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in

Ephesus (New King James Holy Bible, 1899). This particular passage speaks of a spiritual war

for the hearts and minds of human beings, of which I believe the media is an integral part of,

serving as an agent of the “ruler of this world”, otherwise known as Satan or the devil, spoken of

in the Gospel of John, (New King James Holy Bible, 1718). Commented [LE11]: This is a great connection that shows
excellent critical thinking. But consider if someone who is
reading your argument is not a Christian. How can you
Aside from this single point of contention, I wholeheartedly agree with Turner’s
expand this connection to them?

assertions. It is important for us to recognize the phenomena surrounding so-called “reality”

media because it is planting subtle yet highly destructive ideas into the collective hearts and

minds of the people. I believe we need to bring awareness to how these platforms are being

utilized to manipulate our cultural and individual identities before they undermine our

civilization and poison our souls to their very cores. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,

but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against

spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places…” (New King James Holy Bible, 1899). Commented [LE12]: I really like this religion connection—
very original. However, bring it up in the intro as well so we
are prepared for it, and it unifies the whole paper.

Works Cited Commented [LE13]: Move to its own page.

Rojek, Chris. Celebrity. London: Reaktion, 2001.

The New King James Holy Bible. Thomas Nelson, 2014.

Turner, Graeme. “The Mass Production of Celebrity: ‘Celetoids’, Reality TV, and the ‘Demotic

Turn.’” International Journal of Cultural Studies, vol. 9, no. 2, 2006, pp.153-165.