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

ISBN: 9780199736317 | 0199736316
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pub. Date: 6/11/2010

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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.

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