The Sociological Imagination in the “Post-Truth era”: History

This final post explores Mills’ chapter on The Uses of History. It first looks at Mills’ definition of history, before explaining why sociologists need history to contextualise events and protect society’s collective memory. It then expands on the truth/trust theme from the previous post, before summarising the elements of a ‘Sociological Imagination’.

Mills on History

Mills’ insights on history are relevant in the Post Truth era, “where the very nature of facts are more contested than ever” (Salgado 2018, p.321). History according to Mills, represents the everchanging and malleable memory of mankind, made of the facts collected and interpreted by historians (Mills,  pp.143-144). Prophetically, Mills stated history is constantly at risk of being distorted in an Orwellian manner, to suit malicious agendas (Mills, p.145). To keep our memory safe, Mills urged sociologist and historians to work together, to write the “present as history” and capture the multiple experiences of the actors who create the historical and social (Mills, p.145).

Historical Variety and Memory

To write the present as history, Mills stated researchers should identify the “historical variety” of phenomena, by examining them in different contexts to avoid “flat description” (Mills, p.147). Mills referred to the propensity of some researchers to imply an Issue or Trouble is homogenous across different societies. Instead, Mills urged us to compare and contrast phenomena, to identify the essential conditions that enable them exist across societies (Mills, p.147). This prevents Post-Truth actors manipulating our memory to undermine narratives. For example, detractors of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement claim it is a recent American phenomenon, that has no place in British society. However, BLM started as an American movement in 2013 in response to police brutality, building on deep mistrust of legal institutions caused by unique historical experiences. Ongoing protests challenge American institutional symbols that act as sources of unity for certain milieux, such as the narrative of Christian nationalism, or the police as a morally just institution (Perry, et al, 2018, p.140). The British BLM movement shares a similar but contextually different experience of police brutality, whilst criticising the nation’s historical amnesia on empire and its role in slavery (Nasar, 2020). This is why the toppling of statues in both countries share the same objective (challenging norms, values and symbols that are viewed as racially oppressive), but have vastly different socio-historical contexts (Borysovych & Karpova, 2020). By employing a ‘Sociological Imagination’ it is possible to understand how events interrelate, but identify their essential conditions.

The Essential Condition of the Post-Truth era

Mills’ second insight pulls together the findings from past posts, to show how an awareness of history allows researchers to tie together issues of biography and structure (Mills, p.148). This is vital in the Post-Truth era, as understanding how and why individuals construct meaning is essential for building trust across milieux, and creating more inclusive institutions.

As discussed in previous posts, peoples’ conception of their social environment has historically been limited by their milieux, technologies and the institutions and structures that dominate their lives. The essential condition that makes the Post-Truth era unique, is the unprecedented amount of information provided by current digital technologies, that empowers individuals to feel informed (Dalgren, 2017, p.23). In response to so much conflicting information, the individual become the arbiter of truth guided by emotions, rather than “educated elites”, experts or traditional spokespeople (Peters, 2019, p.362). This is because the endless flow of information creates an “epistemic cacophony”, where basic social realities are constantly refuted or unrecognised (Dalgren, p.25). As such, attempts to produce counterarguments often fail, as they do not match an individuals’ or milieuxs’ perspective, even if that perspective is premised on false information (Mills, p.162).

Creating Trust

From reading Mills through the Post-Truth lens, building trust is central to countering the Post-Truth epistemic crisis. To do this, Mills asks us to remember that the subjective emotional perspectives of individuals are valid, born out of historical experiences, yet often rationalised through misguided attempts to understand the social world (Mills, p.158). To employ a ‘Sociological Imagination’ requires researchers to consider, rather than dismiss as many of these perspectives as possible (Mills, p.214). Quite often, researchers will find themselves “thinking against something”, but shifting from one perspective to another allows researchers to build up an adequate view of society and its components (Mill, pp.211-214). This requires researchers to understand individual troubles in terms of public issues, and as the problems of history-making (Mill, p.226). This subsequently allows the researcher to relate public issues to personal troubles, creating narratives that resonate and build trust across milieux (Mills, p.226).

References

Borysovych, O. V., Chaiuk, T. A., & Karpova, K. S. (2020) Black Lives Matter: Race Discourse and the Semiotics of History Reconstruction, Journal of History Culture and Art Research, 9(3), 325-340. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7596/taksad.v9i3.2768

Dahlgren, P. (2018) Media, Knowledge and Trust: The Deepening EpistemicCrisis of Democracy,  Javnost – The Public, 25:1-2, 20-27, DOI: 10.1080/13183222.2018.1418819

Michael A. Peters (2019) Anti-intellectualism is a virus, Educational Philosophyand Theory, 51:4, 357-363, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2018.1462946

Nasar, S (2020) Remembering Edward Colston: histories of slavery, memory, and black globality, Women’s History Review, 29:7, 1218-1225, DOI: 10.1080/09612025.2020.1812815

Perry, S. L., Whitehead, A. L. and Davis, J. T. (2019) ‘God’s Country in Black and Blue: How Christian Nationalism Shapes Americans’ Views about Police (Mis)treatment of Blacks’, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 5(1), pp. 130–146. doi: 10.1177/2332649218790983.

Salgado, S. (2018). ‘Online media impact on politics: Views on post-truth politics and post post modernism’, International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics,14, pp.317-331. doi: https://doi.org/10.1386/macp.14.3.317_1.

Wright Mills, C, (2000), The Sociological Imagination. 14th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The Sociological Imagination in the “Post-Truth era”: Structure

This post examines Mills’ concepts of structure, institution and milieux though the Post-Truth lens. The first section examines Mills’ definitions of structures, institutions and milieux. The second contextualises the individual under structures and institutions. The final paragraph demonstrates the fallacy of debunking truth with truth.

Structure, Institution and Milieux

Structures, institutions and milieux, are terms used by sociologists to describe relationships at different societal levels. To understand these terms, it is easiest to examine milieux and structure first before institutions.

Milieux, are the contexts in which individuals live, for example family, work, leisure, identity groups etc (Mills, p.158). Milieux may overlap or be isolated, mutually supportive or antagonistic. Yet, biography (the individual’s experience of the social) cannot be understood through milieux alone. As stated in previous posts, an individual’s awareness of reality is often limited to their milieux. Instead, sociologists must place individuals, their milieux and Troubles, in the context of wider Issues and frameworks, such as structures and institutions (Mills, p.162).

Structure is a notoriously elusive concept. Structures are best understood by examining their effects on the institutions and milieux that comprise them. For Mills structures, (such as economy, politics etc) are the scaffolding that support and define the elements of a society (Mills, p.10). Multiple structural elements overlap, and have different levels of influence in different societies. When structures function or change in a society, they influence milieux through institutions (ibid).

Institutions are a set of stable identifiable relationships, expectations and roles, that are graded in authority (Mills, p.30). In a corporation for example, roles are defined and the demands of some members take priority over others. According to Mills’, institutions justify their existence and actions by the use of symbols, which represent a collection of values and norms, for example “corporate image” (Mills, p.37). We can examine the “cherished values” of a society, by looking at the symbols institutions use to justify their actions (Mills, p.38). These symbols are socially relevant if they justify or oppose existing societal arrangements (Mills, p.36). Their psychological relevance lies in the fact they become the basis for the individual to adhere or oppose existing societal arrangements (Mills, pp.36-37). Often, several symbols compete against each other, but differences can be accommodated within institutions. When people feel this is not possible at a large enough scale, society experiences an institutional crisis (Mills, p.9).

Post Truth and Structures

The core element of our definition of Post Truth, is the exploitation of an emotionally polarised public by dubious information (Cosentio 2020, p.3). This polarisation is a result of massive structural changes, which challenge established “cherished values”, symbols and ways of life (Mills, p.10). Individuals try to rationalise these changes, but the institutions that operate information technologies reinforce biases, either by design or accident (Beer, 2009, p.987). During periods of change, existing institutions can’t accommodate polarised perspectives with current symbols. Instead, new institutions use symbols that appeal to their audiences’ partisan feelings, which reflect reality more accurately (Knight & Tsoukas, 2019, p.185). This highlights the paradox of Post-Truth: “it appeals to consensus and truth as a way of undermining consensus and truth” (Bufacchi, 2020, p.13).

Solutions

Post-Truth is perceived as unique because actors are utilising new technologies to communicate their messages, but  is not a new phenomenon (McManus, 2020, p.9). To deal with “truth” in this era, we must employ our ‘Sociological Imagination’. First, we must see how institutions manufacture consent, by examining the symbols that appeal to specific milieux (Mills, p.38). This indicates what truth and trust mean for that milieux, as these symbols are used to rationalise experiences of structural change. Instead of making counter-claims of truth, discourse analysts state we should generate “more trust” rather “than better facts” (Cosentio, 2020, p.4). By counterarguing with truth claims, we force a version of reality that does not resonate with a milieux, causing them further entrenching in their reality (Merkley, 2020). Instead, it is a political, institutional and cultural task to create symbols that can bridge gaps between milieux (Mills, p.187). However, this is highly challenging and will be explored further in next week’s post.

References

Beer, David. “Power through the Algorithm? Participatory Web Cultures and the Technological Unconscious.” New Media & Society ,11(6), pp.985–1002. doi: 10.1177/1461444809336551.

Bufacchi, Vittorio. “Truth, Lies and Tweets: A Consensus Theory of Post-Truth.” Philosophy   & Social Criticism, Philosophy and Social Criticism, 46(1), pp.1-15. doi:10.1177/0191453719896382.

Cosentino, Gabriele, (2020) Social Media and the Post-Truth World Order: The Global Dynamics. Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan.  

Knight, Eric, and Haridimos Tsoukas. “When Fiction Trumps Truth: What ‘Post-Truth’ and ‘Alternative Facts’ Mean for Management Studies.” Organization Studies, (40)2, pp.183–97. doi:10.1177/0170840618814557.

McManus, Matthew, (2020), The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism: Neoliberalism, Post-Modern Culture and Reactionary Politics, Ed. Edited by Hardwick, D. Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillian

The Sociological Imagination in the “Post-Truth era”: Biography

This post examines Mills’ view of biography through the Post-Truth lens. The first section explores how biography, rationality and reason interrelate. The second section explores the relationship between rationality and technology. The final section examines using reason and a ‘Sociological Imagination’, as the potential antidote to excessive rationality.

Biography, Rationality & Reason

Writing in 1959, Mills stated the world was transitioning from the Modern era to a post-modern Fourth Epoch, which shares similarities with Cosentios definition of the Post-Truth era (Cosentio, 2020, p.3). Mills argued the structures and descriptors that defined relationships in the Enlightenment and Modern era such as capitalist, liberal or conservative, were inadequate in the Fourth Epoch (Mills, 2000, p.167). In the Fourth Epoch, exposure to the irrationality and contradictions of the world through digital means, challenges descriptors and other “cherished values”, such as freedom, nationalism etc (McManus, 2020, p.10). These challenges subsequently destabilise established identities at both the individual and group level. Feeling adrift, some people search for identity in simple narratives that resonate with them emotionally (Mills, p.17). However, most people do not exercise a ‘Sociological Imagination’ and critically examine narratives and their origin; Mills framed this as the struggle between rationality and reason.

 

Mills conceived of rationality as the individual operating in a society, efficiently and logically with the technologies available to them (Mills, p.168). Individual actions appear rational, as they enable the individual to operate harmoniously in their environment; for example, using Google maps to find addresses (Mills, p.171). Yet whilst acting rationally, most individuals do not or cannot question the ends they serve, by examining the technologies they use or the influence of organisations above them (Mills, pp.168-170). Individuals subsequently struggle to identify the forces that shape their world. This is particularly prevalent in the Post-Truth era, despite unprecedented access to information.

Rationality

Mills stated this situation creates three types of rational actor. First is the Cheerful Robot, who uncritically accepts values and descriptors given by the organisations that structure their daily lives (Mills, pp.174-176). Rather than view Cheerful Robots from a condescending position, Mills reminds us “all men do not naturally want to be free; that all men are not willing or not able…to exert themselves to acquire the reason that freedom requires” (ibid). We should instead use reason to consider the conditions that enable Cheerful Robots.

As a result of the destabilising effects of the Fourth Epoch/Post-Truth era, the second actor uses technology to find values and descriptors that resonate with them. However, the actor does not or cannot consider how those technologies influence them. This conceptualisation agrees with the Post-Truth perspective, that information technology constitutes our ontological and epistemological reality, instead of mediating it (Beer, 2009, p.987). It argues technologies’ economic models and content algorithms, provide information that appeals to users’ interests and biases (Vaidhyanathan, 2018). This channels users into cognitive and cultural silos, rather than exposing them to multiple perspectives (Salgado, 2018). This channelling denies users the opportunity to formulate alternative perspectives, by engaging in meaningful dialogue. The result is a collection of rational individualists without reason. (Mills, pp.173-174).

Reason

The solution is to operate as the third actor, by employing rationality with reason. Reason for Mills, meant consciously resisting the influences that pushed the second actor to become excessively individualistic, and prevented them considering alternative perspectives (Mills, pp.171-174). Whilst using technology to explore values and descriptors, researchers should consider how their tools shape their information feeds, and actively explore alternative or contrary perspectives. In other words, when examining social phenomena, we should seek to understand as many perspectives as possible, whilst acknowledging the limits of our knowledge (Mills, pp.171-174). Additionally, Mills stated that having too much reason without rationality is also harmful, and researchers should not retreat into a state of Luddism (Mills, p.175). Instead, researchers should reflexively consider how the tools they use impact them, and apply the same level of consciousness to the subject of their studies.

 

Bibliography

Cosentino, Gabriele, (2020) Social Media and the Post-Truth World Order: The Global Dynamics. Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan.  

Echeverría, M. & Mani, E. (2020). ‘Effects of Traditional and Social Media on Political Trust’, Communication & Society, 33 (2), pp.119-135. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15581/003.33.2.119-135

McManus, Matthew, (2020), The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism: Neoliberalism, Post-Modern Culture and Reactionary Politics, Ed. Edited by Hardwick, D. Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillian

Salgado, S. (2018). ‘Online media impact on politics: Views on post-truth politics and post post modernism’, International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics,14, pp.317-331. doi: https://doi.org/10.1386/macp.14.3.317_1.

Vaidhyanathan, S. (2018). Anti-Social media: How Facebook Disconnects us and Undermines Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wright Mills, C, (2000), The Sociological Imagination. 14th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Examining the Portrayal of Selfies on YouTube

This post examines representations of “selfies” across YouTube. The purpose of this post is to support the creation of a typology of selfies and discuss the sociological themes behind how selfies are represented in popular culture.  YouTube was the chosen platform as it sits in a unique position, being able to capture live synchronous performances (for example live make up application streaming sessions) and curated exhibitions, as part of the identity creation process (Hogan 2010). This enables the platform to provide a wide selection of media and attracts a broad, dedicated userbase.

The selfie occupies and awkward place in culture and academia. After reviewing the literature, a person’s interpretation of a selfie is based around a triumvirate of: the perceived identity of the poster/creator, the context of the image and the purpose of the post. For example, if a user engages with a social media platform in a mundane fashion, selfies are likely to be uncontroversial representations of a grounded reality (Baym 1998). In contrast, the rise of predominately visual platforms like Instagram, enable users to express themselves in a presentative, rather than representative manner, to create their own narratives (Rettberg 2016). However, creative processes involve intense labour to produce the desired image or message (Marwick 2013). Extravagant selfies posted by the privileged or those who have developed an identity around a theme, do not break the normative threshold; if they do it frequent enhances status or is seen as typical behaviour. Aspirational selfies posted by “normal users” are more likely to cross this threshold and be judged as narcissistic (Senft & Baym 2015).

By examining YouTube’s top selfie related content, there is clear evidence of a typology of videos that indicate the importance of the selfie in modern culture. To collect a rough dataset, a new YouTube account was created to remove algorithmic bias. “Selfies” was used as the keyword to find videos. After scanning the results, it was clear videos fit into 4 broad categories. The theme of the first 50 videos found in the search results were recorded.[1] Foreign language videos were omitted. Sentiment for the entertainment category was a value judgement based on the title of the video. For example “Top 10 Selfies Before Death” was viewed a as negative portrayal of selfies.  Positive sentiment are videos such as “Parents Recreate Their Children’s Selfies”.  Figure 1 represents a tally of the findings.

 

Entertainment (- Sentiment Toward Selfies) Entertainment (+ Sentiment Toward Selfies) Technical (Tutorials on Selfie Production) Academic/Educational (Discussing Selfies as a Social Phenomenon)
7 12 23 8

Figure 1. First 50 Video After Searching “Selfies” on YouTube

Whilst not a rigorous quantitative experiment, this snapshot dataset highlights that a significant quantity of users seek to enhance their selfie taking abilities. This reinforces two sociological concepts regarding identity. The first being the three components of Cooley’s “looking glass self” writ: (1) we imagine how other perceive us; (2) we imagine their judgment of us; and (3) we feel something from this imagined judgment such as pride, joy, or embarrassment” (Kaufman 2014). Tutorial videos from YouTube enable users to refine their ability to curate a selfie and achieve their desired image, whilst adhering to the latest norms. Content creators also receive tangible feedback from the community through comments and views.

YouTube itself is a platform that enables vulnerable communities to communicate about sensitive issues such as depression, ethnicity and gender. The platform enables a reciprocal relationship with the content creator and community (Zanatta 2017). This relationship enables users to understand their personal identity whilst conforming to normative social identity markers, through interaction with that group. This supports Snow & Anderson’s “identity work” concept, that a person has an idea of who they want to be. To achieve this, a person can engage with a community in a specific way to have this self-conception reflected back at them (Snow & Anderson 1987).

The above analysis is not an exhaustive examination of the selfie. What it has highlighted is the importance of the selfie in modern culture. A wide variety of demographics make selfie tutorials for their community. The popularity of these videos from diverse content creators, reinforces the selfie as an important part of understanding the self and contributing to a sense of belonging, rather than a reductionist display of narcissism.

References

Baym, N. (1998) Cybersociety 2.0: Revisiting Computer-Mediated Community, Edited by S.Jones. America: Sage Publishing. Available at: URL (Accessed: 05 Oct 20).

Hogan, B. (2010) ‘The Presentation of Self in the Age of Social Media: Distinguishing Performances and Exhibitions Online’, Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 30(6), pp. 377–386. doi: 10.1177/0270467610385893.

Marwick, A. (2013) Status Update: Celebrity, Publicity and Branding in the Social Media Age. Available at: URL (Accessed: 5 Oct 2020).

Peter Kaufman (2014) A Sociological Snapshot of Selfies. Available at: URL (Accessed: 05 Oct 2020).

Rettberg, J. (2017) SAGE Handbook of Social Media, Edited by J.Burgess, A.Marwick, and T.Poell, America: Sage Publishing. Available at: URL (Accessed: 05 Oct 20).

Senft, T. M., & Baym, N. K. (2015). ‘What does the selfie say? Investigating a global phenomenon’. International Journal of Communication Systems, 9, 1588–1606. Available at: URL (Accessed: 05 Oct 20).

Snow, D & Anderson, L. (1987). ‘Identity Work Among the Homeless: The Verbal Construction and Avowal of Personal Identities’, American Journal of Sociology. 92(6), pp.1336-1371. Available at: URL (Accessed: 05 Oct 20).

Zanatta, J. A. (2017) Understanding YouTube Culture and How It Affects Today’s Media. Senior Theses. Dominican University of California. DOI (Accessed: 05 Oct 2020).

[1] Search was conducted on www.youtube.com (UK) 05 Oct 20.

The Sociological Imagination in the “Post-Truth era”: What Can it Teach us?

C Wright Mills’ The Sociological Imagination, continues to influence those wanting to understand social life. Mills defined the ‘Sociological Imagination’ as the “quality of mind…to achieve lucid summations of what is going on in the world”, but requires a person to understand the biases “happening within themselves” (Mills 2000 p.5). However, the current Post-Truth era is one where “the epistemic nature of facts has become frailer and more contested”, making it harder to understand current events and ourselves (Salgado 2018 p.321). This is the first entry in a series of four posts that examine the Post-Truth era, by exploring and applying concepts from The Sociological Imagination. This post begins by providing a definition of Post-Truth, before examining Mills’ core ideas in Chapter 1 The Promise in relation to Post-Truth scholarship. Subsequent posts build on these ideas and analyse the Post-Truth era through the lenses of biography, social structure and history.

A Definition of Post Truth

Cosentio unified interdisciplinary perspectives to define the main elements of the Post-Truth era. From the social sciences, Post-Truth is the “systemic circulation of intentionally or unintentionally misleading or false information via the internet, by and among an increasingly polarized and emotional public opinion” (Cosentio, 2020 p.3). From the science and technology disciplines, Post-Truth is the use of “cognitive-behavioural science, big data analysis and micro-targeting”, to disseminate information (Cosentio, p.3). Despite Mills writing in the 1950s, the three core concepts of The Promise resonate with the arguments of Post-Truth scholars.

Declining Belief in Science and Information

There are two arguments to Mills’ reasoning on declining popular trust in science and information. First, Mills stated science and expertise are increasingly viewed as “dubious philosophy”, out of touch with the realities of average people (Mills, 2000, p.16). This is evidenced in the Post-Truth era, by people refuting the claims of scientists and experts with appeals to emotion over evidence (Lewandowsky et al., 2017 p.354). Recent examples include the 5G controversy, rise in vaccine hesitancy and growing disbelief in climate change, despite multiple campaigns by experts to change public opinion.

This ties into the second aspect of Mills’ argument on information. He stated people want “…a big picture, in which they can believe and understand themselves” but that picture must adhere to their values, ways of feeling and emotions (Mills p.17). In a digital Post-Truth context, people have access to unprecedented amounts of information. However, the software we use to find information increasingly constitutes our reality, rather than mediating it (Beer, 2009, p.987). This makes it easy for individuals to find evidence that validates their perspectives, whilst filtering out alternative narratives. When trying to construct a lucid summation, we must reflexively examine how the technologies we use might limit or shape our perspectives. This is examined in the next post, which looks at biography.

Private Troubles and Public Issues

Mills identified that Troubles occur when individuals feel threatened, whether by circumstances such as unemployment, or having their values and norms challenged (Mills, p.8) Issues relate to many groups of individuals in various milieux. As such, the debate over a threatened public value as an Issue (national identity for example) often lacks focus, as each individual processes the Issue within their own context (Mills, p.8). This is significant, as the malign phenomena that characterise Post-Truth such as fake news are able to span this personal–public divide, by manipulating perception and adding emotion to information. For those with a ‘Sociological Imagination’, focusing on the relationship between Trouble and Issue is essential. Understanding this relationship enables observers to see the subjective processes of knowledge creation within individuals, larger groups and themselves. This will be explored in the third post examining structures.

Elitism and Knowledge Production

Mills intended a ‘Sociological Imagination’ to be emancipatory, but it is framed as a tool of importance for scholars, journalists, scientists etc, rather than the general population. As such, he reinforces a problem highlighted earlier; educated elites claim to have a privileged perspective of the world. This leads to tension, when someone’s worldview is written-off as misinformed by the “intellectual elite” (Merkley 2020 p.25). The epistemic implications of this intellectual problem have shaken modern democracies to their core (Cosentino 2020 p.3). Additionally, the rise of the interpretivist perspective reinforces the importance of an individual’s ability to construct their reality through language and interaction. How does this balance against a researcher’s ability to interpret or understand a person’s perspective, when that perspective is premised on false information? This is the focus of the final post examining history.

Concluding Thoughts for Future Posts

The Sociological Imagination remains a useful starting point for anyone trying to understand what is happening around them. As researchers, it is important to consider how our preferred information sources shape and potentially limit our world view. It is also necessary to understand the relationship between our Troubles and wider Issues, when seeing how we approach a problem. Finally, Post-Truth partially emerged as a response to dissatisfaction with existing information practices; researchers must consider if they are contributing to the problem (Merkley, p.24).

 

Next week: The Sociological Imagination in the “Post-Truth era”: Biography

References

Cosentino, Gabriele, (2020) Social Media and the Post-Truth World Order: The Global Dynamics. Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan.  

Lewandowsky, S. Ullrich. K.H.E. and Cook, J. (2017) ‘Beyond Misinformation: Understanding and Coping with the “Post-Truth” Era’, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 6 (4), pp.353-369. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2017.07.008.

Merkley, E. (2020) ‘Anti-Intellectualism, Populism and Motivated Resistance to Expert Consensus’, Public Opinion Quarterly, 84 (1), pp.24-28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/poq/nfz053.

Salgado, S. (2018). ‘Online media impact on politics: Views on post-truth politics and post post modernism’, International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics,14, pp.317-331. doi: https://doi.org/10.1386/macp.14.3.317_1.

Wright Mills, C, (2000), The Sociological Imagination. 14th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press.