Celebrity Mad: Why Otherwise Intelligent People Worship Fame - Brett Kahr


This short book by Professor Brett Kahr provides a psychoanalytic understanding of fame and celebrity in the early 21st-century, building upon the bedrock foundations of the Freudian corpus.

Chapter 1: The psychology of the celebrity, questioning narcissistic and exhibitionist psychopathology

Chapter 2: The psychological state of those of who revel in the fame of others and in celebrity culture more broadly, and offers a discussion of the "Celebrity Worship Syndrome".

Chapter 3: A very brief history of the concept of celebrity itself, arguing that, contrary to popular opinion, the culture of celebrification cannot be blamed on 21st-century media moguls, but, rather, that such a preoccupation with famous personalities can be traced back to ancient times and demonstrates the need to broaden our analysis to include the role of deep, unconscious psychological forces.

Chapter 4: A review of some important theoretical concepts advanced by Freud and Winnicott, which provide an important foundation for the psychoanalytic study of fame.

Chapter 5: A more comprehensive theory of the unconscious psychological roots of the need to worship fame and to seek it, drawing upon a multitude of sources, ranging from psychoanalytic theory and developmental psychological research, to film, archaeology, and, perhaps surprisingly, the history of infanticide.

Chapter 6: By studying the psychodynamics of celebrity and fame, arguing that being recognised by one’s family and friends in the intimate context of home life may well be the very best way to become a celebrity.

Celebrity Mad outlines a psychoanalytic theory of the roots of our obsession with fame. It will be of great interest to psychoanalytic practitioners and researchers, as well as to readers interested in the psychology of fame.

Professor Brett Kahr has published eight books and has served as series editor for more than fifty other titles in such diverse fields as forensic psychotherapy, couple psychoanalysis, and the history of psychoanalysis. He is on the Board of Trustees for the Freud Museum.

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