The Exile of Britney Spears

A Tale of 21st-Century Consumption

Christopher R. Smit

The Exile of Britney Spears
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Christopher R. Smit

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

127 pages | 7 x 9 | © 2011
Paper $31.50 ISBN: 9781841504100 Published March 2011

As sustainability and eco-responsibility become a part of our everyday cultural conversation, we’re finally being forced to acknowledge that what we consume matters. What we fail to realize is that we unconsciously, continually, and at times violently consume much more than just food—including celebrities. The Exile of Britney Spears takes the ubiquitous pop star of its title as its primary example, explaining that we have consumed, digested, and eliminated Britney Spears in a process uniquely characteristic of American popular culture. In Christopher Smit’s provocative account of the sociological, aesthetic, and political outcomes of this new mediated cannibalism, he offers the idea of exile as a new metaphor for the outcome of popular consumption. By investigating the psychological, personal, and social matrix of Britney’s rise and fall, he outlines the process of her inevitable exile from global taste and favor.

Cathleen Falsani | Huffington Post
"In his new book, Christopher Smit examines the role we—the consumers of the product Spears is selling—have played in her creation, near destruction, and reinvention. At once scholarly and eminently accessible, Smit’s book chronicles Spears’s creation as a cultural icon and analyzes what her story says about the state of our souls.”
John Sinkevic | Grand Rapids Press
“This is not your typical what’s-up-with-Britney pop-gossip read. There are no Britney photos. Smit conducted no interviews with relatives or party pals or industry insiders, though there are plenty of eyebrow-lifting examinations of the singer’s turbulent life. . . . More than anything, this is a sobering assessment of pop culture and the way we as a modern society devour, digest, and expel celebrities.”
Contents

Acknowledgements

Preface: Two Notes for Readers
Prologue: Waiting

Part I: Creation

Chapter 1: Consuming Towards Exile

Chapter 2: The Baptists

Chapter 3: The South

Chapter 4: The Family

Chapter 5: Stars, Mickey Mouse and the Ledge of Tomorrow

Part II: Consumption

Chapter 6: The Universal Woman, Saint or Whore?

Chapter 7: A New Currency

Chapter 8: Stuff

Chapter 9: Snakes

Chapter 10: The Ease of Digestion

Part III: Exile

Chapter 11: Exile on Main Street

Chapter 12: Motherhood

Chapter 13: The Vagina

Chapter 14: Disabling Britney

Chapter 15: The End of the Exile, ‘Complex Shit’

Epilogue: Naked Again

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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