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Olivier Driessens

Olivier Driessens is Lecturer in the Sociology of Media and Culture. He teaches modules on Theories of Culture and the Media, Digital Media and Everyday Life, and Media and Politics. Previously he held positions at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Ghent University and the University of Antwerp. He was an associate researcher at Goldsmiths, University of London, during his PhD research.

Olivier earned his PhD in Communication Sciences at Ghent University in 2013. He has an MSc in Sociology (University of Leuven) and an MSc in Communication Sciences (Ghent University).

He is Young Scholar representative for YECREA in the Mediatisation Section of ECREA and is currently co-editing a volume on ‘Dynamics of Mediatisation’ with the section’s management team.

Research interests

His research focuses on media sociological questions on visibility, celebrity, mediatisation, social change, inequality and everyday life. In his PhD research, he studied the celebritisation of Western societies and cultures, i.e. the changing nature and differential embedding of celebrity in fields such as politics, business, academia and law. This work aimed to provide an alternative to previous media-centric analyses and argued that celebritisation is produced by the combined (meta-)processes of mediatisation, personalisation and commodification.

His current work takes his previous attention for causal explanation further by examining how social theories on causal mechanisms can improve the study of media and social change, particularly mediatisation. He is also planning to delve more deeply into the relationships between mediatisation, inequality and power.


Journal articles

Driessens, O. (2015) 'On the epistemology and operationalization of celebrity'. Celebrity Studies, 6(3), 370-373

Driessens, O. (2015) 'Expanding celebrity studies’ research agenda: Theoretical opportunities and methodological challenges in interviewing celebrities', Celebrity Studies, 6(2), 192-205  

Driessens, O. (2014) 'A celebritização da sociedade e da cultura: entendendo a dinâmica estrutural da cultura da celebridade' Ciberlegenda, 31(2014), 8-25. [translated republication in the Brazilian journal Ciberlegenda of my 2013 article on celebritisation]  

Driessens, O. (2014) 'Theorizing celebrity cultures: Thickenings of media cultures and the role of cultural (working) memory', Communications: European Journal of Communication Research, 39(2), 109-127 

Driessens, O. (2013) 'Do (not) go to vote!' Media provocation explained, European Journal of Communication, 28(5), 556-569

Driessens, O. (2013) 'The Celebritization of Society and Culture: Understanding the Structural Dynamics of Celebrity Culture', International Journal of Cultural Studies, 16(6), 641-657

Driessens, O. (2013) 'Celebrity capital: Redefining celebrity using field theory', Theory and Society, 42(5), 543-560 

Driessens, O. (2013) 'Being a celebrity in times of its democratization: A case-study from the Flemish region', Celebrity Studies, 4(2), 249-253 

Encheva, K., Driessens, O., & Verstraeten, H. (2013) 'The mediatization of deviant subcultures: An analysis of the media-related practices of graffiti writers and skaters', MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 29(54), 8-25 

Driessens, O., Joye, S., & Biltereyst, D. (2012) 'The X-factor of charity: A critical analysis of celebrities' involvement in the 2010 Flemish and Dutch Haiti relief shows', Media, Culture & Society, 34(6), 709-725  

Driessens, O., Raeymaeckers, K., Verstraeten, H., & Vandenbussche, S. (2010) 'Personalization according to politicians: A practice theoretical analysis of mediatization', Communications: European Journal of Communication Research, 35(3), 309-326


Walrave, M., Driessens, O., De Bie, M., Van Gompel, R., Kerschot, H., & Steyaert, J. (2006). Digitale overheid en burger op één lijn? eGovernment, identity management en privacy [Digital government and citizen aligned? eGovernment, identity management and privacy]. Antwerp: Universiteit Antwerpen

Book chapters

Driessens, O. (in print) 'The democratization of celebrity: On the shifting notions of the celebrity body', In S. Redmond & P.D. Marshall (Eds.), Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Celebrity. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell

Devroe, I., Driessens, O., & Verstraeten, H. (2010) ‘Minority Report’: Ethnic Minorities’ Diasporic News Consumption and News Reading. In S. Van Bauwel, E. Van Damme, & H. Verstraeten (Eds.), Diverse mediawerelden. Hedendaagse reflecties gebaseerd op het onderzoek van Frieda Saeys (pp. 233-249). Gent: Academia Press

Book reviews

 Driessens, O. (2013). Book review 'Cultures of Mediatization' (Andreas Hepp) and 'The Mediatization of Culture and Society' (Stig Hjarvard). Communications, 38(4), 451-455.

Driessens, O. (2010). Boekbespreking "De Celebritysupermarkt" (Hilde Van den Bulck & Sil Tambuyzer). Tijdschrift voor Communicatiewetenschap, 38(4), 380-381.

  • Position: Lecturer in Sociology
  • Tel: 01223 (3)35298
  • Address: Department of Sociology, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RQ