The Global Grapevine Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 6/11/2010
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Soon after 9/11, wild rumors began to spread: that Arab-Americans were celebrating publicly, that some people had been warned, that politicians knew all along. The Global Grapevine reveals how--through our everyday thoughts and conversations, and the rumors we spread--we grapple with the new global world. Drawn from diverse sources, the book illuminates urban legends like the claim that a certain t-shirt with a Chinese pictogram brands the wearer as a prostitute, conspiracy theories such as the "9/11 Truth Movement," or stories of tourists infected with AIDS by locals. These rumors, the authors argue, reflect our anxieties and fears about contact with foreign cultures--how we believe foreign competition to be poisoning the domestic economy and foreign immigration to be eroding American values. Focusing on the threat posed by terrorism, the impact of immigration, the risks involved in international trade, and the dangers faced by naive tourism, the book provides a broad survey of the most widely circulated rumors and examines what these tales reveal about contemporary society.

Author Biography

Gary Alan Fine is John Evans Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University. His book, Whispers on the Color Line: Rumor and Race in America was a finalist for the C. Wright Mills Award.
Bill Ellis is Professor Emeritus at Penn State University. He is a Fellow of the American Folklore Society and has served as President of the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Rumor: Plausible and Crediblep. 1
Rumor and September 11: Understanding the Unthinkablep. 21
A Riot of Conspiraciesp. 51
Migrants: Disease in the Body Politicp. 73
"There Goes the Neighborhood": Latino Migrants and Immigration Rumorsp. 95
Tourist Troubles: The Travels of Global Rumorp. 123
The Menace of International Tradep. 147
Global Trafficking in Bodiesp. 175
Whispers on the Borderlinep. 201
Notesp. 221
Indexp. 251
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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