Rumor Mills: The Social Impact of Rumor and Legend / Edition 1

Rumor Mills: The Social Impact of Rumor and Legend / Edition 1

by Chip Heath
     
 

ISBN-10: 0202307476

ISBN-13: 9780202307473

Pub. Date: 06/01/2005

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

The goal of this volume is to explore the social and political dynamics of rumor and the related concept of urban or contemporary legend. These forms of communication often appear in tandem with social problems, including riots, racial or political violence, and social and economic upheavals. The volume emphasizes the connection of rumor to a set of social concerns

Overview

The goal of this volume is to explore the social and political dynamics of rumor and the related concept of urban or contemporary legend. These forms of communication often appear in tandem with social problems, including riots, racial or political violence, and social and economic upheavals. The volume emphasizes the connection of rumor to a set of social concerns from government corruption and corporate scandal, to racial, religious, and other prejudices. Central to the dialogue are issues of truth, belief, history, public policy, and evidence.

Rumor has been recognized as one of the most important contributing factors to violence and discrimination. Yet, despite its significance in exacerbating social discord and mistrust, little systematic scholarly attention has been paid to the political origins and consequences of rumor. Rumor is defined as a proposition for belief that is not backed by secure standards of evidence. Rumor can be traditional or not, and can be expressed as a simple claim of fact. In both instances groups of claim-makers, operating out of their own interests and with a set of resources, attempt to depict reality, and if possible, impact the future.

The need for this book is underscored by changing patterns of technology. What in the past was grounded in face- to-face interaction is now often found on the Internet, which is a major source of rumor. An appreciation of how new electronic forms of communication affect communal belief is essential for explicating rumor dynamics. The volume is comprehensive. Essays cover race and ethnicity, migration and globalization, corporate malfeasance, and state and government corruption. While editors and contributors well appreciate the dynamic nature of rumors and legends, the high quality of the effort make it evident that the issues that are raised and reoccur will serve to channel and inspire research in this major field of communications research for years to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780202307473
Publisher:
Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
06/01/2005
Series:
Social Problems and Social Issues Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
281
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

Table of Contents


Contributors     ix
Rumor Matters: An Introductory Essay   Gary Alan Fine     1
The Social Production of Conflict and Prejudice
Introduction   Veronique Campion-Vincent     11
Dramatic Rumors and Truthful Appearances: The Medieval Myth of Ritual Murder by Proxy   Jody Enders     15
Rumors in Times of War and Cataclysm: A Historical Perspective   Galit Hasan-Rokem     31
Rumors and Religious Riots   Sudhir Kakar     53
Mafia in Meran?: Rumors and Legends Surrounding the "Leather Connection": A Case Study   Ingo Schneider     61
The Spread of Rumors
Introduction   Chip Heath     81
Psychological Motivations in Rumor Spread   Prashant Bordia   Nicholas DiFonzo     87
From Evil Others to Evil Elites: A Dominant Pattern in Conspiracy Theories-Today   Veronique Campion-Vincent     103
Legend/AntiLegend: Humor as an Integral Part of the Contemporary Legend Process   Bill Ellis     123
How Rumor Begets Rumor: Collective Memory, Ethnic Conflict, and Reproductive Rumors in Cameroon   Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg   Flavien T. Ndonko   Song Yang     141
The Effects of Legends, Rumors, and Related Genres on Audiences   Rainer Wehse     159
The Creation of Plausibility
Introduction   Patricia A. Turner     169
Fashion, Topical Jokes, and Rumor as Short-Term Enthusiasms   Joel Best     173
Celebrating Arabs and Grateful Terrorists: Rumor and the Politics of Plausibility   Gary Alan Fine   Irfan Khawaja     189
Beyond Rumor and Legend: Some Aspects of Academic Communication   Sandy Hobbs     207
Negatory Rumors: From the Denial of Reality to Conspiracy Theory   Jean-Bruno Renard     223
Social Construction and Social Consequences: Rumors and Evidence   Luise White     241
Conclusion-Rumor and Legend: Seven Questions   Chip Heath   Veronique Campion-Vincent   Gary Alan Fine     255
Index     265

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