Celebrity culture, level of education and trust in media institutions: Empirical evidence from the Philippines

Posted by on January 5, 2024 in Recent Publications | 0 comments

Rohaiba B RadiamodaHsueh-hua Chuang, and Ronald A Pernia


This study aims to provide empirical evidence on the celebrity culture, i.e. the pervasive fascination of an audience with public figures, in the Philippines. We used data from the seventh wave of the World Values Survey (n = 1200) to establish whether celebrity culture exists in the Philippines. We then tested whether citizens’ level of education affects one’s attribution of confidence to an institution dominated by celebrities, i.e. television, over those institutions governed by experts, i.e. universities. Lastly, we performed a sentiment analysis in the comments of a YouTube video from a well-known celebrity, Toni Gonzaga, on her interview with Bongbong Marcos, the son of the late dictator, to investigate how strong celebrity influence is in the country traversing the social and political arena. The results showed that there is a significant difference between citizens’ level of confidence in television and universities, and that those with lower levels of education are more likely to be confident in the television as an institution. The public sentiment of citizens on the infamous video was overwhelmingly positive. While the results underlined the strong celebrity influence in the country, our paper not only reinforces the need for a greater role of education in fostering democratic citizenry but also bears significant implications for the mediatization of politics in developing democracies.

celebrity influence, constructive-development theory, education, elaboration likelihood, Philippines,
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