Title
Celebrities' quest for a better world understanding flemish public perceptions of celebrities' societal engagement Celebrities' quest for a better world understanding flemish public perceptions of celebrities' societal engagement
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Ljubljana ,
Subject
Mass communications
Source (journal)
Javnost. - Ljubljana
Volume/pages
19(2012) :3 , p. 75-92
ISSN
1318-3222
ISI
000310925800005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Although one of the main aims of celebrities' societal engagement is to grab the attention of a wide audience for a social cause, research about public perceptions of the phenomenon is scarce. This study wants to gain a theoretical and empirical insight into the possible influence of celebrities' engagements on the general population. An internet survey among a sample of one thousand Flemish adults was conducted to ascertain which celebrities are considered to support social causes and how the general population perceives this phenomenon. Results show a select group of celebrity supporters, i.e. those in a deeply engaged role or with a considerable track record of engagement, to be the most popular. While most respondents consider such celebrity engagements to make a significant contribution to social-profit organisations' goals, scepticism about the celebrities' motives is apparent. Young adults and celebrity news followers, traditionally less involved in social causes, demonstrate a more positive attitude towards celebrity engagement than older respondents. As such, celebrities' societal engagement might be advantageous in reaching thus far uninterested parts of society.
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