Students at The University of South Carolina can now register for a full-time University Course entitled “Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame” which purports to examine why and how Lady Gaga became so famous so fast and what this phenomenon tells us about our society – the course description says “The central objective is to unravel some of the sociologically relevant dimensions of the fame of Lady GaGa.” This sounds very interesting and fairly important – trying to understand the mechanics, economics, and sociology of fame and why it is that we love the famous seem like a meaningful and worthwhile pursuit. My attitude is that if something is important in the world, and surely fame and and Lady Gaga are fairly important, then is it worthwhile attempting to understand both why they are important and how they got to be important.
Some of the pop media makes fun of this course but we do not agree with that point of view. In fact for students in fields as wide ranging as journalism, economics/business, psychology, history, sociology, music and art this course, if well structured and well taught, could be an important cog in the wheels of understanding.
Of course if taken to an extreme, we might eventually see something like “The Physics Of Hidden Recording Devices – How Oksana Trapped Mel” or “The Mathematics of Divorce – The Structure and Planning of Pre-Nuptial Agreements.”