Star Gazing

These four groups are next up for the fame machine

Photo-Illustration by Josue Evilla for TIME

Five years ago, if you were looking for an example of a group that could never be famous, you might have settled on housewives. And you would have been proved wrong, across several ZIP codes. Fame, which used to be like a mystical oil that anointed an extremely talented few, is now more like a fire hose that can be sprayed on anybody who looks marketable.

The fame-manufacturing revolution of the past half-decade will continue to refashion the culture in 2012. It was triggered partly by the wide adoption of new mechanisms--Twitter, YouTube, apps, assorted social media--and partly by increases in...

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