CelebYouth has been a major two-year collaboration between Brunel University and Manchester Metropolitan University examining celebrity’s significance in the construction of young people’s aspirations. We have focused on social class and gender because a large body of research shows that these are central to young people’s educational and career aspirations and choices. There are growing concerns in the UK that celebrity is impacting negatively on young people’s aspirations. Politicians and teacher unions have spoken out on the ‘dangerous effects’ of celebrity, expressing fears that young people just want fame (as footballers’ wives or Reality TV stars) rather than achievement based on hard work and skill. Our study shows that celebrity informs young people’s educational and career aspirations in complex ways. We have explored how accounts of aspiration within celebrity (e.g. stories of success, talent and self-realisation) shape young people’s imagined futures.
On this website can explore our findings through a range of materials:
Here we use our research to debunk 8 myths about young people, aspirations and celebrity including young people want to get rich quick and young people are obsessed with celebrity culture
Here we share the stories of six young people in their data including their memories, hope for the future and struggles in the present
This contains videos of young actors performing extracts from our data so that you can see them discussing celebrity in the way that young people did in our research
This will contain material about how we did the research