GE1210 - Celebrities and Media: Contemporary Issues in Hong Kong Popular Culture

Offering Academic Unit
Department of Media and Communication
Credit Units
Course Duration
One Semester
GE Area
Area 2: Study of Societies, Social and Business Organizations
Course Offering Term*:
Semester A 2021/22

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

Media in Hong Kong are obsessed with stories about celebrities, political and social scandals, and private lives of public figures. The notorious paparazzi have stalked celebrities and taken their photos for years, forming a significant part of the landscape of popular culture in Hong Kong. Such practices have serious implications for journalistic integrity, protection of privacy, moral standards, and citizen trust in public life.  This course aims to examine the interplay among media, celebrities and scandals from various perspectives. Its theoretical implications and social impacts will be closely discussed and evaluated. Specifically, this course will start with examining the concept of celebrities from a sociological approach. Students will learn the concepts, issues and theoretical perspectives of celebrities and scandals, the processes and structure of their production and distribution, and their manifest and latent functions. The discussion will then turn to a psychological approach. Students will explore the uses and consequences of media representation of celebrities and scandals in terms of perceptions, gratifications, social learning, and framing as well priming effects.  Finally, the course will take legal and ethical perspectives to address issues involving journalistic professionalism, social responsibility, decline of citizens’ trust in public institutions, market-driven consumerism, and quality of public enlightenment and entertainment. Through class discussion, case study, class debates, role playing, and other learning activities, students will get to extensively investigate a variety of topics, including public figures and privacy, political and social scandals, media coverage, the culture of paparazzi, pseudo-events, and the role and functions of communication. 

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 100%
Detailed Course Information


Useful Links

Department of Media and Communication