Download Knowledge Goes Pop: From Conspiracy Theory to Gossip by Clare Birchall PDF

By Clare Birchall

A voice on past due evening radio tells you quick foodstuff eating place injects its nutrients with medicinal drugs that make males impotent. A colleague asks when you imagine the FBI was once in on Sep 11. An alien abductee on the net claims extra-terrestrials have planted a microchip in her physique. "Julia Roberts in Porn Scandal" shouts front web page of a gossip magazine. a religious healer claims he can medication persistent fatigue syndrome with the energizing energy of crystals . . . What do you suspect? wisdom is going Pop examines the preferred knowledges that saturate our daily adventure. We make this knowledge after which it shapes the way in which we see the area. How legitimate is it compared to reliable wisdom and why does such (mis)information reason rather a lot institutional nervousness? This e-book examines the diversity of information, from conspiracy idea to standard gossip, and its function and impression in our tradition.

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Extra info for Knowledge Goes Pop: From Conspiracy Theory to Gossip (Culture Machine)

Example text

But we would not want such relativism to underplay the singularity of particular kinds of knowledge and what they can tell us about the whole field of knowledge. Knowledge as a concept is forced to shift when previously external discourses make claims upon it. If the centre of knowledge shifts – if the way it is produced, consumed and legitimated changes – it is difficult to see popular knowledge as just one more form of knowledge, because knowledge itself will have altered in the process. In the sociological understanding of knowledges, then, there is perhaps too little specificity.

Knowledges are those organized and perpetuated ways of thinking and acting that enable us to direct ourselves to objects in our world (persons, things, and events) and to see them as something. (1996: 22) Obviously, the ways of knowing that I describe in this book enable us to manage and organize the material world – they construct our social reality. Knowledge is, then, as Doyle McCarthy writes, ‘any and every set of ideas and acts accepted by one or another social group or society of people – ideas and acts pertaining to what they accept as real for them and for others’ (1996: 22).

In fact, it is more available as a knowledge having been through a period of intense exposure and a process of commodification (about which I will say more below). Conspiracy theory’s ways of knowing, if Dean is right, are supported by our encounters with information flows.

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