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Manufacturing Celebrity Awarded the 2022 SAW Book Prize

SAW names Vanessa Díaz as the winner of its annual book prize, and recognizes books by Megan Styles and Daniel Tubb with honorable mentions.

Published onNov 02, 2022
Manufacturing Celebrity Awarded the 2022 SAW Book Prize

Announcing 2022 SAW Book Prize Winner

The Society for the Anthropology of Work (SAW) is delighted to announce that Manufacturing Celebrity: Latino Paparazzi and Women Reporters in Hollywood, by Vanessa Díaz and published by Duke University Press in 2020, is the winner of the 2022 SAW Book Prize.

Building on theories of value, invisible labor, creative economies, and the author’s years as a reporter for Peoplemagazine, Manufacturing Celebrity: Latino Paparazzi and Women Reporters in Hollywood, analyzes the racial and gender politics of representation and division of labor involved in the production of celebrity-focused media in the U.S. Vanessa Díaz draws on ethnographic and archival research in Los Angeles to explore the work and lives of celebrity journalists and photographers who create the content for celebrity weekly magazines such as People and Us Weekly. The project examines the ethnoracial, gender, and class stratification involved in the work of Los Angeles’ celebrity reporters, who are predominantly white women, and the paparazzi, who are predominately Latino men (immigrant and U.S.-born). While the paparazzi come from a diverse background of Latin American and U.S. Latinx communities, my work focuses on Mexican and Salvadoran men who, in addition to their celebrity photography, create subversive digital artwork that critiques their position Hollywood, likening their informal photography to other forms of Latinx day labor. Díaz dissects the corporate media environment to shed light on the power dynamics in the work of these gendered and racialized media producers who create corporate cultural products, while conducting their labor outside of formal corporate institutions. This project is vital to contemporary understandings of how ethnoracial, gender, and class realities interact with shifts in the neoliberal global political economy, facilitating the creation of unlikely laborers such as the Latino paparazzi.

Honorable Mentions

SAW would also like to recognize two outstanding Honorable Mentions. The first is Roses from Kenya: Labor, Environment, and Global Trade in Cut Flowers, written by Megan A. Styles and published in 2019 by the University of Washington Press. The second is Shifting Livelihoods: Gold Mining and Subsistence in the Chocó, Colombia, written by Daniel Tubb and also published by the University of Washington Press.

The 2022 SAW Book Prize Committee

SAW is grateful to the 2022 SAW Book Prize committee, including Waqas Butt, Steve Striffler, and Sarah Besky, for their hard work. Stay tuned for information about the 2023 SAW Book Prize.

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Manufacturing Celebrity penalty kick online draws on theories of value, invisible labor, creative economies, as well as the author's years of experience as a reporter for People magazine to argue that celebrities are manufactured.

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The concepts of visibility and invisibility, dordle as well as how the politics of inclusion, racialization, and sexualization intersect with those of vision, serve as a guiding analytical framework throughout Manufacturing Celebrity.