Famous for being famous

What is the public sphere?

Philosopher Jürgen Habermas’s explains that the public sphere is like an 18th century coffee house, where people gathered to form a ‘space’ in which citizens debate about common concerns and reflect the news. http://culturalstudiesnow.blogspot.com.au/2011/09/jurgen-habermass-public-sphere.html

The world has developed and grown since then and people are now able to interact with one another by commenting, liking and sharing with the click of a button. YouTube is one example of many. YouTube is a video-sharing website that allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe. By filming yourself and uploading it, the whole world can watch.


But now the mediated public sphere is being attacked for being to trivialised, spectacular (instead of rational) and apathetic. We are too interested in unimportant media. The TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” emphasises this tremendously. The reality TV show is about the Kardashian and Jenner family. It started in 2007, back then little was known about them, until now, 9 seasons later with many magazines and social networks talking about them, everyone knows about their lives. So how did they manage to create an entire show? Kim Kardashian and former boyfriend Ray J (whom is a rapper) made a home sex video that leaked to the media. Kris Jenner, Kim’s Mother, decided to make the most of the negativity and start the TV show with Ryan Seacrest as the executive producer.



“Keeping Up with the Kardashians” supports the fact that the mediated public sphere is to trivialised, spectacular and apathetic. We are to court up in the notion that they are ‘famous for being famous’. In the end it’s up to us, the viewers, on how we acknowledge them and how we react to certain popular texts.

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4 thoughts on “Famous for being famous

  1. This is a great example of the mediated sphere! KUWTK is a perfect in exploring how society has become so invested in trivial news and gossip and they too definitely fit the phrase ‘famous for being famous’ like no other. But hey, I they are making millions of dollars off of society’s desire to know about them, so i doubt they’d be complaining. Nice job!🙂

  2. Hats off to you for picking a great example! Such a disgusting way to start a show, honestly did not know that! I am actually amazed at how many people are addicted to what I would classify as ‘crap TV’. People have become too obsessed with other peoples lives they forget to live their own. This family’s success in which they rub in our faces is facilitated by us, we are paying for and choose to watch this garbage because like you said we have become ‘apathetic’.
    Great post🙂

  3. I’m a sucker for reality TV but I could never sit through an episode of this show. You’ve picked a great example to show, as you said, how “trivialised, spectacular and apathetic” mediated public sphere can be. Just one tip – you can embed YouTube videos into your blog post so you can watch it without leaving your page, rather than just posting the link. Otherwise great post!🙂

  4. I enjoyed reading your blog. The Kardashians are a perfect example of a show that promotes discussion in the mediated public sphere. Lots of it. I have never watched the show but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been exposed to this family inadvertently through the media and its trials and tribulations. Sadly, as gross as they are, they are only in the media because people want to watch them… and buy their handbags and all the other merchandise they are flogging. They are famous for what we don’t know, but nobody seems to mind. What does that say about us?

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