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Quiet contradictions of celebrity: Zinedine Zidane, image, sound, silence and fury

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Hugh Dauncey



The French soccer-player Zinedine Zidane is an emblematic sport star whose celebrity persona nevertheless remains opaque and open to debate. As a French citizen of Algerian origin, Zidane has come to embody many current French concerns over the integration of ethnic minorities and has, particularly since the World Cup Finals of 1998 and 2006, been subjected to intense scrutiny and interpretation. Despite such attention, however, he remains quietly inscrutable, the contradicting claims on his identity and celebrity persona compounding his own lack of self-reflection in a complex negotiation of significance. Assessing Zidane through the interlinkages of his hybrid identity, ethnicity, masculinity, morality and nationality reveals how he and his celebrity persona struggle to establish coherent or consistent meaning, and an analysis of his high-cultural representation in two recent French art-works throws light on how his sometimes violent behaviour in soccer and his emblematic celebrity ultimately interrogate causality and agency, as well as the sociocultural significance of sport stars. © 2008 SAGE Publications.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dauncey H, Morrey D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Cultural Studies

Year: 2008

Volume: 11

Issue: 3

Pages: 301-320

Print publication date: 01/09/2008

ISSN (print): 1367-8779

ISSN (electronic): 1460-356X

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/1367877908092587


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