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Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them$
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Joseph E. Uscinski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190844073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190844073.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 12 April 2021

Media Marginalization of Racial Minorities

Media Marginalization of Racial Minorities

“Conspiracy Theorists” in U.S. Ghettos and on the “Arab Street”

(p.82) 5 Media Marginalization of Racial Minorities
Conspiracy Theories and the People Who Believe Them

Martin Orr

Ginna Husting

Oxford University Press

The term “conspiracy theorist” is commonly used in social political discourse as a way to silence, trivialize, or demonize critics of the abuse of power. Nowhere does this become more evident than when used to discount marginalized groups, where the claims of individuals are not only treated as unworthy of consideration, but cast as the result of weaknesses of mind innate to certain races, ethnicities, and nations. The discourse surrounding two historical events—African-American responses to allegations of CIA complicity in drug trafficking, and the concerns among peoples in nations with Muslim majorities in the context of the “War on Terror”—exemplify the reduction of knowledge claims in conspiracy theories to motives so as to push them beyond the bounds of reasoned discourse.

Keywords:   conspiracy theory, mass media, race and ethnicity, social inequality, political power, U.S. foreign policy

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