Presumed Intimacy: Parasocial Interaction in Media, Society and Celebrity Culture
‘Presumed intimacy’ refers to a relationship that requires instant trust, confidence, disclosure and the recognition of vulnerability. Chris Rojek investigates the impact of relationships of ‘presumed intimacy’, where audiences form strong identifications with mediated others, whether they be celebrities, political personae or online friends. Arguing that the way the media are able to manage these relationships is a significant aspect of their power structure, the core of the book is an investigation into the complicity of the media in encouraging presumed intimacy and the cultural, social and political consequences arising from this. Beyond this, it examines how intimacy is performed as a masquerade in many social settings – the scripts we follow in social settings that try to manufacture a shortcut to intimacy.
A compelling look into mediated relationships in the network society, Presumed Intimacy will be a key contribution to the critical analysis of society, media and culture.
2. Chimerical Risk Management
3. The Shockwaves of Trauma
4. The Lost Neighbour Proposition and the Collateral Damage Problem
5. Horizontal Frontierism: The Juggernaut of Character
6. The Accentuation of Personality
7. Vertical Frontierism: Four Case Studies
8. Cracks in the Mirror
9. The Gestural Economy
10. Institutional and Counter-Institutional Gestural Economies
11. Nuda Veritas
"Encompassing topics as diverse as Mae West's fame and the consequences of Hurricane Katrina, Charles Dickens's novels and the dilemmas of modern democracy, Rojek's book is a tour-de-force of interdisciplinary social criticism. Ambitious in scope, brilliant in execution, it constitutes nothing less than a profound meditation on what it means to be a human being today."
David Inglis, University of Exeter
"Rojek has created yet another of his unique and insightful analyses of the contemporary world. As “familiar strangers” we live in a tenuous world built on presumed intimacy. One’s anger about this world builds as one progresses through the book and leads one to applaud Rojek’s call for, among other things, the veracity and emotional integrity that are increasingly being lost in our world of increasing presumed intimacy."
George Ritzer, University of Maryland