Entries in American Sociological Review (1)


Study: Fame Isn't Fleeting

Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC(NEW YORK) -- True fame lasts far longer than 15 minutes, according to a new study.

The study, published in the American Sociological Review, found that the vast majority of people who become "truly famous" stay famous for years. The study looked at 10,000 names mentioned in 2,200 print media sources over a 5-year span. The top ten most frequently mentioned names were Jamie Foxx, Bill Murray, Natalie Portman, Tommy Lee Jones, Naomi Watts, Howard Hughes, Phil Spector, John Malkovich, Adrien Brody and Steve Buscemi.

Interestingly, every one of the top ten most commonly mentioned celebrities had been in the news for over a decade. It seems that celebrities in the higher tier of fame have a low turnover rate.

While there are some people who really do get just 15 minutes of fame, they tend to be on a much lower level of celebrity. The study suggested that that manner of fame -- like lottery winners and whistle blowers -- tend to be famous for one particular event and disappear into anonymity rather quickly.

Finally, the researchers determined that once the event that causes a person to become famous becomes a "large and long public conversation," the name is "locked in," increasing the likelihood that their fame will last much longer.

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