Star fission: Shoaib Akhtar and fragmentation as transnational celebrity strategy

Bolognani, Marta (2011) Star fission: Shoaib Akhtar and fragmentation as transnational celebrity strategy. Celebrity Studies, 2 (1). pp. 31-43. ISSN 1939-2397

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Abstract

If we understand ‘the making of celebrity’ as a specific cultural endeavour, transnational celebrity must be viewed as the opportunity (structure) or capacity (agency) to exercise control over fame, at a very high level of cultural complexity, across cultural borders. It would appear that the conditio sine qua non for the longevity of a star is exactly this capacity of transcending one’s nation’s cultural specificity. In this article, the Guinness Book of Records-holder Pakistani fast-bowler Shoaib Akhtar provides a case study of someone who, rather than projecting one single image globally, has had the opportunity to ground his star persona in the Pakistani cultural milieu and at the same time the capacity, to some extent, to transcend (and transgress) multiple borders. This paper analyses his alternate fortunes as dictated by the interplay of national and international politics, religion, class and post-colonial cricket, and argues that fragmentation may be one strategy to achieve transnational celebrity, although deep cultural and political dynamics may still limit stardom to a regional dimension, in this case the South Asian diaspora.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation. Leisure > GV0557 Sports
Depositing User: Marta Bolognani
Date Deposited: 02 May 2012 11:07
Last Modified: 02 May 2012 11:07
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/38880
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