This article explores the various and important ways in which film stars can function within mother-daughter relations over the life-cycle of their relationship. Drawing on detailed qualitative material from an interdisciplinary audience study of mothers’ and daughters’ shared relations to film stars, it demonstrates how a significant shift can be identified with regard to the kinds of roles that stars play in dyadic relations as a daughter experiences various developmental and transitional phases to adulthood. Necessitating an alternative approach to those previously employed within Star and Celebrity Studies, the article takes a significant new perspective on the study of audiences for stars from the work of art anthropologist Alfred Gell (1998) and proposes a move away from semiotic, ‘textualist’ readings of stars towards an ‘action’-centred exploration of the ways in which films stars are used and function in social interactions over the life-cycle of personal relationships.
- film stars
- mother–daughter relationships
- life cycles
- Alfred Gell