Dichtbij Marco. Over de ritualisering van nabijheid in het celebritytijdperk | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 40, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1384-6930
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7286


Close encounters: ritualizing proximity in the age of celebrity

Close encounters: ritualizing proximity in the age of celebrity

For many celebrities, organizing meet-and-greets with fans and followers has become a permanent feature of their public appearances. As yet little is known about the role and importance of such meetings within the everyday constitution of celebrity culture. Why would fans be interested in the possibility of direct, personal contact with people they already know from the media? To find an answer to this question, this article presents ethnographical research into meet-and-greets with the Dutch artist Marco Borsato. Results show that these meet-and-greets constitute a special and meaningful experience for those involved. Firstly, the meet-and-greet provides a means for the fans to validate and enhance their emotional involvement with the music and with Borsato himself. Secondly, it has become clear that the meet-and-greet is a status symbol much in demand within the fan community. Thirdly, the meet-and-greet can fulfill a vital role in personal life-narratives of healing.


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