In the past stars have been studied as cogs in a mass entertainment industry selling desires and ideologies. But since the 1970s, new approaches have reopened debate, as film and cultural studies try to account for the active role of the star in producing meanings, pleasures, and identites for a diversity of audiences. Stardom brings together for the first time some of the major writing of the last decade which seeks to understand the phemomenon of stars and stardom. Gathered under four headings - The System, Stars and Society, Performers and Signs, Desire and Politics - these essays represent a range of approaches drawn from film history, sociolgy, textual analysis, audience research, psychoanalysis, and cultural politics. They raise important issues about the politics of representation and the cultural limitations and possibilities of stars.