It’s not some far-fetched scientific romance or Huxleyan novel. We live in parallel worlds, with its own governments, its own social order, its own miseries and victories.
Say I’m a young career woman working in shopping center management, I like reading and writing novels, and I participate in a choir. So my parallel worlds consist of: workplace (further divided into: retail industry, Indonesia region, management), art community (with subcategories: writers, singers, photographers), and status (under: career women, second generation Chinese Indonesians, the affluents). Not to mention oddball categories like: people who are good in analyzing data, people who lived abroad, etc.
Within those worlds I have a separate identity, I occupy differing social order, I attain certain status. Am I making you confused? Maybe the simplest way to break it down is this way: each world has its own CELEBRITIES. In my singers world I worship world-class divas and I don’t count much as a photographer, but in the clique of career women, people look up to me.
So a person who is nothing in world A can be a celebrity in world B. The worlds can be as narrow as you make it (appendicitis surgeons, hurricane hunters, non-profit workers in Mali), and it will still have its own social order.
I think it’s born out of our need (that is, us self-centered humans’ need) for recognition. It may not be conscious, and in itself it will create nothing (just a craving to be famous maybe), but a collective unconscious create these parallel worlds, so we can excel in at least one of our parallel worlds.