A Specific Social Function of Rumors and Conspiracy Theories: Strengthening Community’s Ties in Trouble Times. A Multilevel Analysis

Slovenský Národopis. 2017;65(2):187-202


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Slovenský Národopis

ISSN: 1335-1303 (Print); 1339-9357 (Online)

Publisher: Sciendo

Society/Institution: Institute of Ethnology, Slovak Academy of Sciences

LCC Subject Category: Geography. Anthropology. Recreation: Anthropology: Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology

Country of publisher: Slovakia

Language of fulltext: English, Czech, Slovak

Full-text formats available: PDF



Julien Giry (CRNRS/IREMAM)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 26 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This paper hypothesizes that conspiracy theories and rumors are an act of social conformism. The evaluation of their plausibility, and their success, is collectively determinate regarding the established values of an in-group and the social context. In periods of troubles they flourish to reaffirm themselves and strengthen community’s ties, structures and leaderships. After a theoretical introduction, I will demonstrate this assumption through a multilevel analysis (macro, meso, micro) which considers a wide range of social situations from the French Revolution to neighborhood conflicts and from open riots to latent crises.