Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Elvis Presley

Das Image und der Mensch dahinter

Januar 2015, 19. Jahrgang, Heft 73, pp 51-64

Elvis Presley: The Image and the Man Behind It – The present essay thematises Elvis Presley in two ways: his image as the »King of Rock’n’Roll« and the man behind that image. This thematisation is based on sociogenetic analysis, which shows how Presley, who was influenced early on by gospel music, transferred the demonstrative ecstatic spirituality inherent in that music to his self-imaging, and thus his own music and performance. Correlations and divergences between the man and the image are traced by examining several phases of his career chronologically: rockabilly era – military service – film years – comeback – twilight of the gods. The point developed in the text with recourse to Max Weber is the connection between the Protestant work ethic and semi-religious capitalism, something that Elvis Presley established perhaps more than anyone else in the business of popular culture – at a high price, namely his own life.

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