Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Celebrity Politics and Issue Engagement

I'm happy to report that I've published a new piece of research in the latest issue of the British Journal, Celebrity Studies. The article, originally a part of my dissertation, examines the influence of celebrity issue advocacy messages (both video and text) on political engagement at the issue level. This new research emphasis on celebrity politics represents a new direction for my research on the impact of political entertainment.

The case study for the research is Angelina Jolie's involvement with the global refugee crisis and the impact of exposure to her celebrity advocacy efforts vs. exposure to advocacy efforts of an expert on situational involvement, complacency, and apathy toward the refugee issue. The experiment discussed in the article presents some interesting findings about the relationships between receptivity toward celebrity politics and apathy and complacency, and the relationships between situational involvement on the issue and political disaffection. The key take-away: exposure to celebrity issue advocacy messages can impact issue engagement, but this impact often depends on the prior perceived importance of the issue and favourability toward the celebrity advocate.

If you'd like to take a look at the article, you can find it here.

The research is especially relevant as we look toward November 2012 and the involvement of celebrities (dinner with George Clooney, anyone) in the presidential election. Any Hollywood hotshots ready to open their homes to Romney?

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