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'If we stick together we can do anything': Lady Gaga fandom, philanthropy and activism through social media

Bennett, Lucy 2013. 'If we stick together we can do anything': Lady Gaga fandom, philanthropy and activism through social media. Celebrity Studies 5 (1-2) , pp. 138-152. 10.1080/19392397.2013.813778

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This study explores how modern celebrities increasingly utilise social media to mobilise audiences towards philanthropic and activist causes. Achieving millions of followers on all social-media platforms, Lady Gaga is a timely example of how social media can be used as a tool to promote specific causes and to secure an active response from fan networks. This essay traces how Gaga has been actively engaged in a range of philanthropic and activist efforts that often work to address her fans as fellow partners and subsequently inspire many of them to engage in further initiatives. Incorporating an online survey and seeking to unravel the motivations and aspirations for this active engagement by fans, this study explores the relation of these acts to Gaga as the celebrity object of fandom and examines how she engages these followers through social media. The article also investigates how Gaga appears to reach those who have never participated in the philanthropy/activism realm before, with many making their first powerful connections with political figures and witnessing the change they can make as citizens. This study argues that the use of social-media platforms by celebrities such as Lady Gaga to communicate with their audiences can be interpreted as instigating a re-emphasis of the dominance of ‘the celebrity confessional’ and a reconfiguration of celebrity activism.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Uncontrolled Keywords: celebrity, activism, fandom, social media, philanthropy, Lady Gaga
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1939-2397
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 07:56

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