President Trump: Celebrity-in-chief and the desecration of political authority

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    262 Downloads (Pure)


    Abstract: This article argues that Donald Trump’s persona and his dismissal of established conventions work to position him as a celebrity-in-chief who desecrates politics, political authority and the political scene. To pursue this, I draw on sociological and philosophical analyses of political authority developed by sociologists (including Lowenthal, Sennett and Arendt) alongside later work on political persona, celebrity and political appeal. I explore historical changes in the social function and appeal of role models and celebrity and reflect on how these changes have contributed towards a decline in political authority. The final section focuses on Trump’s early days in power in order to illustrate how he is represented and read as a rogue celebrity politician who has desecrated political authority. This is achieved through a critical engagement with Michael Wolff’s 2018 fly-on-the-wall account of life inside Team Trump entitled Fire and Fury: Inside the White House. © 2020, Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The attached document (embargoed until 01/09/2021) is an author produced version of a paper published in CELEBRITY STUDIES uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)125-139
    JournalCelebrity Studies
    Issue number1
    Early online date1 Mar 2020
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2020


    • Trump – authority - celebrity – persona - desecration- politics

    Cite this