Publication details

Everything’s going according to Plan(demic) : a cultural sociological approach to conspiracy theorizing


JAWORSKY Bernadette Nadya

Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source American Journal of Cultural Sociology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords Performative conspiracy; Covid-19; Narrative; Cultural performance; Social drama
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Description In this article, I examine the case of a viral film entitled “Plandemic,” its sequel, and the epidemiologist that is its main subject, and develop a cultural sociology of conspiracy theorizing through the concept of “performative conspiracy.” I argue that the Plandemic case represents a cultural performance within the (ongoing) serious social drama of the Covid-19 pandemic. I focus primarily on the “alternative” narrative put forth by the Plandemic case; however, the (Western/US) “mainstream” narrative becomes clear as well. Both call upon the same sets of binary oppositions, chief among them, science vs. blind faith, truth vs. deception, and evidence vs. supposition. Audiences, who are themselves fragmented and differentiated, are exposed to multiple narrative paths. Within the mainstream, they encounter an apocalyptic-turned romantic story, in which science, evidence, and the truth, the sacred trio, will lift humanity out of perilous danger. Plandemic’s alternative narrative begins in a tragic tone and builds apocalyptically into a tale of terror, waged by the very same forces of science, truth, and evidence, to create a “plague of corruption” that will “kill millions.” To conclude, I reflect on the potential implications of the increasing popularity of conspiracy theorizing about Covid-19.
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