Sociology: who becomes a star? And why? – Knowledge

Researchers have studied the role performance plays in the rise to fame and glory – using the well-documented example of basketball. They achieve results that go far beyond the sport.

It is as fascinating as it is puzzling who becomes a star and who, despite talent and effort, remains in the shadows. As early as the 1960s, the sociologist Robert Merton, himself a superstar of his profession, was amazed at how much attention a few scientists received and how little the many others – a phenomenon which he baptized the Matthew Effect, loosely based on a verse from the gospel of the same name: Whoever has, will be given. But how exactly does it work? Why did anyone? And why is it passed on to him?

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