1st Edition

The Anthropology of Donald Trump Culture and the Exceptional Moment

Edited By Jack David Eller Copyright 2022
    254 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    254 Pages 44 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Anthropology of Donald Trump

    is an edited volume of original anthropological essays, composed by some of the leading figures in the discipline. It applies their concepts, perspectives, and methods to a sustained and diverse understanding of Trump’s supporters, policies, and performance in office.The volume includes ethnographic case studies of "Trump country," examines Trump’s actions in office, and moves beyond Trump as an individual political fgure to consider larger structural and institutional issues.

    Providing a unique and valuable perspective on the Trump phenomenon, it will be of interest to anthropologists and other social scientists concerned with contemporary American society and politics as well as suitable reading for courses on political anthropology and US culture.

    Introduction; Jack David Eller

    Part One: Ethnographies of Trump Country

    Chapter 1 Stigmatized Identity Motivating Right-Wing Populism: How the Tea Party Learned to Love Donald Trump; William Westermeyer

    Chapter 2 The Reddest of States: Fieldnotes from Trumplandia; Michael Harkin

    Chapter 3 Making the Cuban American Dream Great Again: Race and Immigrant Citizenship in Miami; Ariana Hernandez-Reguant

    Chapter 4 We’re on the Same Team, Right?: Political Polarization and Social Connections in "Trump Country"; Claudine Pied

    Part Two: Performing and Representing Donald Trump

    Chapter 5 Indexing Ambivalence: Laterality and Negation in Donald Trump’s Co-Speech Gestures; Daniel Lefkowitz

    Chapter 6 Trump the Caudillo: Tapping into Already-Existing Populist Unrest; Micah J. Fleck

    Chapter 7 Lying as a Cultural System; Jack David Eller

    Chapter 8 Orange Candles and Shriveled Cheetos: Symbolic Representations of Trump in the Anti-Trump Witchcraft Movement; Julia C. Fine

    Part Three: Donald Trump versus Social Institutions

    Chapter 9 "I Don’t Think the Science Knows, Actually": The Biocultural Impacts of Trump’s Anti-Science and Misinformation Rhetoric, the Mishandling of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and Institutionalized Racism; Benjamin Schaefer

    Chapter 10 Trumping the Past, Trumping the Future: How Political Messianism and Conspiracy Theory Cultism Come Front and Center in American Politics; Bruce Knauft

    Chapter 11 Hindutva and Donald Trump: An Unholy Relation; Raj Singh

    Chapter 12 The Events at the Capitol and the Trump Mediation: America’s Uncivil War and New Authoritarian Totalitarian Possibilities; Bruce Kapferer and Roland Kapferer

    Afterword; Jeff Maskovsky


    Jack David Eller is Head of Global Anthropology of Religion at the Global Center for Religious Research. His research interests include anthropology of religion, psychological anthropology, violence and culture, and Australian Aboriginal cultures. His most recent book is Trump and Political Theology: Unmaking Truth and Democracy.