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Rumor Mills : The Social Impact of Rumor and Legend - Veronique Campion-Vincent

Rumor Mills

The Social Impact of Rumor and Legend

Paperback Published: 30th June 2005
ISBN: 9780202307473
Number Of Pages: 268
For Ages: 22+ years old

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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.

Gary Alan Fine is professor of sociology at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Veronique Campion-Vincent is a folklorist at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, in Paris, France. Chip Heath is associate professor of organizational behavior in the Graduate School for Business at Stanford University in California. Each are accomplished authors and researchers--as are the participants in the volume itself.

Contributorsp. ix
Rumor Matters: An Introductory Essayp. 1
The Social Production of Conflict and Prejudice
Introductionp. 11
Dramatic Rumors and Truthful Appearances: The Medieval Myth of Ritual Murder by Proxyp. 15
Rumors in Times of War and Cataclysm: A Historical Perspectivep. 31
Rumors and Religious Riotsp. 53
Mafia in Meran?: Rumors and Legends Surrounding the "Leather Connection": A Case Studyp. 61
The Spread of Rumors
Introductionp. 81
Psychological Motivations in Rumor Spreadp. 87
From Evil Others to Evil Elites: A Dominant Pattern in Conspiracy Theories-Todayp. 103
Legend/AntiLegend: Humor as an Integral Part of the Contemporary Legend Processp. 123
How Rumor Begets Rumor: Collective Memory, Ethnic Conflict, and Reproductive Rumors in Cameroonp. 141
The Effects of Legends, Rumors, and Related Genres on Audiencesp. 159
The Creation of Plausibility
Introductionp. 169
Fashion, Topical Jokes, and Rumor as Short-Term Enthusiasmsp. 173
Celebrating Arabs and Grateful Terrorists: Rumor and the Politics of Plausibilityp. 189
Beyond Rumor and Legend: Some Aspects of Academic Communicationp. 207
Negatory Rumors: From the Denial of Reality to Conspiracy Theoryp. 223
Social Construction and Social Consequences: Rumors and Evidencep. 241
Conclusion-Rumor and Legend: Seven Questionsp. 255
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780202307473
ISBN-10: 0202307476
Series: Social Problems and Social Issues
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 268
Published: 30th June 2005
Publisher: ALDINE PUB
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.47