Rumor Mills / Edition 1

Rumor Mills / Edition 1

by Gary Alan Fine
     
 

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

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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.

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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:
284
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

Table of Contents

Rumor matters : an introductory essay1
IThe social production of conflict and prejudice
Introduction11
1Dramatic rumors and truthful appearances : the medieval myth of ritual murder by proxy15
2Rumors in times of war and cataclysm : a historical perspective31
3Rumors and religious riots53
4Mafia in Meran? : rumors and legends surrounding the "leather connection" : a case study61
IIThe spread of rumors
Introduction81
5Psychological motivations in rumor spread87
6From evil others to evil elites : a dominant pattern in conspiracy theories today103
7Legend/antilegend : humor as an integral part of the contemporary legend process123
8How rumor begets rumor : collective memory, ethnic conflict, and reproductive rumors in Cameroon141
9The effects of legends, rumors, and related genres on audiences159
IIIThe creation of plausibility
Introduction169
10Fashion, topical jokes, and rumor as short-term enthusiasms173
11Celebrating Arabs and grateful terrorists : rumor and the politics of plausibility189
12Beyond rumor and legend : some aspects of academic communication207
13Negatory rumors : from the denial of reality to conspiracy theory223
14Social construction and social consequences : rumors and evidence241
Conclusion - rumor and legend : seven questions255

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