Conspiracy theories and their argumentation strategies as the example of ideological discourses Cover Image

Konšpiračné teórie a ich argumentačné stratégie ako príklad ideologických diskurzov
Conspiracy theories and their argumentation strategies as the example of ideological discourses

Author(s): Zuzana Panczová
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Ústav etnológie a sociálnej antropológie Slovenskej akadémie vied
Keywords: conspiracy theories; conspiracism; ideology; discourse; argumentation strategies;

Summary/Abstract: Folkloristics has traditionally focused on artistic expressions which fulfil primarily aesthetic functions. The following paper, however, will be devoted to the genre of conspiracy theories, which I do not consider a folklore genre in the proper sense of the word but rather a narrative genre belonging to the category of rumours. The basic function of conspiracy theories is to mediate and to give a foundation of argument to a certain world-view model based on the motif of a group conspiracy. For the purposes of their genre analysis I have not considered the methods of “traditional” folkloristics as a useful tool, and therefore I have tried to seek other methods proceeding from the distinctive qualities of these communications. As my research field I chose internet discussions, which meant concentrating on the written form of communication. The argumentative character and ideological anchoring of the texts being examined ultimately conditioned the selection of an appropriate research method in the framework of discursive analysis. The paper seeks to represent and offer for discussion the results of this experiment: a genre characterisation of conspiracy theories based on their typical argumentative strategies. My choice of theme is intended at the same time to evoke debate: to what extent is such a thematic and methodological purview acceptable within the bounds of folkloristics? Or if folkloristics paradigms are thus extended, what consequences may follow for Slovak folkloristics in the future?

  • Issue Year: 59/2011
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 8 - 27
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Slovak