Celebrity, class and gender in Spain: an analysis of Belén Esteban’s image

Mercè Oliva
  • Celebrity Studies, June 2014, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/19392397.2014.920238

Celebrity, class and gender in Spain: an analysis of Belén Esteban’s image

What is it about?

Belén Esteban is the most significant example in Spain of a new kind of celebrity that cannot be linked to traditional definitions of talent and work. This article analyses how her celebrity image provides a stage for political struggle that embodies current Spanish tensions regarding class and gender. Belén Esteban’s image offers a symbolic battleground upon which the debates about the place and roles of working-class women in Spanish society are acted out.

Why is it important?

Compared with English-speaking countries, which have a longer tradition of research into stars and celebrities, celebrity culture has received little academic attention in Spain. This article seeks to explore contemporary Spanish celebrity culture through one of its paradigmatic figures, thus enabling the Spanish context to enter the dialogue of celebrity studies. The article shows how the discourses surrounding working-class female celebrities in the UK have similar counterparts in Spain. This similarity points towards the existence of a widespread discourse that expresses specific class and gender prejudices through celebrity culture

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The following have contributed to this page: Mercè Oliva