The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, by Gary Alan Fine

By Gary Alan Fine

Faraway from mere idle stories, rumors are a important window into our anxieties and fears. Rumors allow us to speak as a group approximately a few very inflammatory issues--issues that could be embarrassing or demanding to discuss-allowing us to behave as though we're speaking approximately actual occasions, no longer own ideals. we will be able to air our hidden fears and needs with no claiming those attitudes as our personal. within the international Grapevine, top specialists on rumor, folklore, and concrete legend--Gary Alan fantastic and invoice Ellis--shed gentle on what modern rumors can let us know concerning the fears and pressures of globalization. specifically, they learn 4 significant subject matters that emerge again and again: rumors approximately terrorism, approximately immigration, approximately foreign exchange, and approximately tourism. The authors research how quite a few rumors underscore American reactions to perceived international threats, exhibit how we interpret our altering international, and spotlight fears, fantasies, and adored ideals approximately our position on the earth. alongside the best way the publication examines a large choice of rumors-that the Israelis have been in the back of 9/11, the President knew of the assault upfront, travelers get up in overseas nations with their kidneys stolen, overseas employees urinate in vats of beer destined to be shipped to the United States. those rumors, the authors argue, mirror our anxieties and fears approximately touch with international cultures-whether we think international pageant to be poisoning the family economic system or that international immigration to be eroding American values. Rumors are the noticeable tip of an unlimited iceberg of hidden anxieties. Illuminating the main commonly circulated rumors in the USA lately, the worldwide Grapevine deals a useful portrait of what those stories exhibit approximately modern society.

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Additional resources for The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter

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She picked up the wallet and ran after him and returned it to him. The man turned and thanked her, he then said “Thank you for doing this good deed. 39 As these British examples show, the legend shows wide variation, indicating multiple reworkings in oral circulation and private e-mails. Constant in all, however, is the moment in which the other reveals his human motives for passing on the warning: recognition that the small favor puts him in debt to the Good Samaritan. The small kindness received exhibits that the two were, after all, neighbors, so the terrorist could no longer withhold his foreknowledge of the coming attack.

These actions are bewildering within the pragmatist confines of American political culture. Yet, it is not accurate to suggest that terrorists—in this case Islamic radicals—are mindless; indeed, they may have “too much” mindfulness, placing their political goals and ideology before mundane social life, treating their ideals as more important than the lives of others. Yet, from the American perspective, the acts themselves, requiring killing for ideology or belief, become literally senseless. The ideology of terrorism—the demand to have society change in ways they desire—is so alien to how Americans prefer to think of themselves that understanding these forceful and committed men, holding such seemingly un-American values, proves a challenge.

Not since Pearl Harbor had our homeland been assaulted. New York City residents stood transfixed as they watched their imposing skyline crumble; other Americans stared at television screens that repeated the images in a hypnotic loop. In a matter of hours, an event that would have seemed preposterous was now an insistent reality and defied understanding. Terror leaves its victims with a powerful desire to comprehend their broken world. We question beliefs once taken for granted. 1 Terrorist groups recognize this vulnerability, of course; their acts are aimed to provoke this mental dislocation.

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