1st Edition

Re-thinking Mediations of Post-truth Politics and Trust Globality, Culture, Affect

Edited By Jayson Harsin Copyright 2024
    256 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection reaches beyond fake news and propaganda, misinformation, and charismatic liars, to explore the lesser-publicized cultural forms and practices that serve as a cultural infrastructure for post-truth society and politics.

    Situating post-truth in specific contexts as a site of contestation or crisis, the book critically explores it as a dynamic and shifting site around which political and cultural practices in specific contexts revolve and overlap. Through a breadth of perspectives, the volume considers a number of overlapping cultural and political developments across varying national and transnational contexts: changing technologies and practices of cultural production that sometimes shift and at other times reproduce authority of traditional institutional truth-tellers; seismic cultural changes in representations, values, and roles regarding gender, sexuality, race, and historical memory about them, as well as corresponding reactionary discourses in the "culture wars"; questions of authenticity, honesty, and power relations that combine many of the former shifts within an all-encompassing culture of (self-)promotional, attentional capitalism. These considerations lead scholars to focus on corresponding shifting cultural dynamics of popular truth-telling and (dis-)trust-making that inform political culture. In this more global view, post-truth becomes foremost an influentially anxious public mood about the struggles to secure or undermine publicly accepted facts.

    This nuanced and insightful collection will interest scholars and students of communication studies, media and cultural studies, media ethics, journalism, media literacy, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and politics.

    1 Introduction: Post-truth as Globalizing Public Mood (Indefinite, Anxious, Dystopic)

    Jayson Harsin

    2 Media and the Restyling of Politics 20 Years On: A Note (March 2023)

    John Corner and Dick Pels

    3 The Post-truth of Rape

    Kathryn Claire Higgins and Sarah Banet-Weiser

    4 Wikiality Within the Manosphere: Namuwiki, Gender Equalism, and Antifeminist Disinformation in the Post-truth Era

    Jinsook Kim

    5 Redpilling and the Archaic Roots of Patriarchal Post-truth

    Jack Z. Bratich

    6 The Nordic Far Right and the Production of Gut Feelings

    Kaarina Nikunen

    7 Fake Mirror Selfies and the Reproduction of Generalized Cultural Distrust

    Hannah Westley

    8 Seeing Through the Fog of War: Assessing Epistemic Burden Around Cheapfakes and Deepfakes of Geopolitical Crisis

    Britt Paris

    9 The Truth About Influence

    Alison Hearn

    10 Post-truth in Turkey: Political Economy of Media and Articulations of Gender, Ethnicity and Nationalism

    Bilge Yesil and Ergin Bulut

    11 Ethno-Nationalist Drivers of the Indian Media Truth-Telling Crisis

    Aasim Khan and Insiyah Vahanvaty

    12 Rumoring as Contention in the Chinese Digital Sphere

    Jun Liu


    Jayson Harsin is Associate Professor of Media and Politics and Director of the Center for Media, Communication & Global Change, American University of Paris. He has published widely on the relationship of deception, popular media, and politics, in the context of cultural globalization.

    Truth hasn’t disappeared but it has been weaponised to suit the agendas of both reactionary populists and forgetful liberals. This wonderful and accessible book critiques the assumption that we have only recently entered a dystopian world dominated by ‘fake news’ and ‘disinformation’. Instead, its rich variety of essays place history and power at the heart of the meaning of post-truth, positioning it less as a universal variable than a specific marker of political and cultural anxieties about contemporary capitalism. 

    Des Freedman, Professor, Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, University of London

    In Re-thinking Mediations of Post-truth and Trust, Jayson Harsin has brought together a stunning array of critical contributions to this most urgent of contemporary questions. Collectively, the book's chapters radically eschew those nostalgic lamentations for a mythical time when 'objective facts' always won out over 'fake news'. Instead, the authors provide an astute conjunctural analysis of post-truth, insisting that the intensifying 'crisis' in public trust must be understood in contexts of power and injustice, including racism, ethnonationalism, misogyny, debt, war, and the political economy of media. Covering issues from mirror selfies, deepfakes, the manosphere, rape culture, to the hyper-collusion between media and ethnonationalist governments, this collection argues compellingly that post-truth must be understood first and foremost as an anxious public mood - one which arises from the systemic failings of liberal democracy.

    Jilly Boyce Kay, Loughborough University

    This volume of work by leading critical thinkers is a vital contribution to the study of culture, politics, and post-truth. The book clarifies that the practices and meanings surrounding post-truth, which tend to be preoccupied with fact-checking and combatting disinformation, should be understood as historically and internationally fluctuating cultural formations. The volume's authors insightfully unpack how situated popular cultural formations directly shape politics. 

    Brett Nicholls, University of Otago, New Zealand 

    While the layers of the digital and data-driven media society evolutions have become a subject of systemic investigations, a few publications address the cultural flavours in researching, experiencing, and perceiving the value of authentic communications. The collective work edited by Jayson Harsin has a high potential to advance our knowledge and wisdom on the origins and theories of fake news and misinformation alongside the critical cultural infrastructure for post-truth society and politics. The multicultural team of research traditions represented by Western and non-Western scholars successfully contribute to the theory-building and critical reflections on the post-truth case studies.

    Michał Głowacki, University of Warsaw, Poland