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dc.contributor.advisorHenry, Phil
dc.contributor.advisorWeller, Paul
dc.contributor.authorWilson, Andrew Fergus
dc.identifier.citationWilson, AF. 2020. 'Conspiracy Theories, Millennialism, and the Nation: Understanding the collective voice in improvisational millennialism', PhD Thesis, University of Derby, Derbyen_US
dc.description.abstractThe following critical appraisal presents eight interlinked works that apply and extend Michael Barkun’s (2003) concept of ‘improvisational millennialism’. This body of work demonstrates that, as Barkun suggests, the concept is widely applicable to the online communities in which stigmatized knowledge is widely accepted. Moreover, it extends the definition to consider how improvisational millennialism provides ill-defined or dispossessed communities a means of articulating a collective relationship to historical time as well as a crude means of shoring up basic assumptions of group membership. Mythical pasts and millennial expectation provide the opportunity for shared eschatological orientation whilst the dualism of conspiracy theories demarcates between the communities and their outsiders. This critical review demonstrates how the journal articles and book chapters collected in the appendices provide specific examples of the application and extension of improvisational millennialism. The examples chosen are varied but a persistent theme drawn out through analysis is the role that national cultures – official and official – are articulated through improvisational millennialism. The examples include consideration of how the depiction of millennial beliefs in the mass media contribute to national cultural constructs but more typically focus on the use of improvisational millennialism in online communities. Of the latter, the greater number of examples are concerned with improvisational millennialism within the neo-fascist milieu. Mobilised by conspiracy theories with apocalyptic subtexts, the far right reliance on improvisational millennialism demonstrates the implicit danger of the increased incursion of stigmatized knowledge into the cultural mainstream. This critical review serves to show that despite being typified by a syncretic bricolage of unconnected ideas and traditions, improvisational millennialism is reflective of both social and political realities.en_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Derbyen_US
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationalen_US
dc.subjectConspiracy theory, conspiracy theories, millennialism, apocalypticism, cultural theory, sociology of religion, sociology, eschatology, nationalism, extremismen_US
dc.titleConspiracy Theories, MIllennialism, and the Nation: Understanding the collective voice in improvisational millennialismen_US
dc.typeThesis or dissertationen_US
dc.publisher.departmentLaw and Social Science, University of Derbyen_US
dc.relation.referencesWilson, AF. (2011) 'Beyond reason: The exotic millennium in English culture' Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. Vol. 23(2). Summer 2011en_US
dc.relation.referencesWilson, AF. (2011) 'On the outskirts of the new global village: computer-mediated visions of the end.' In Rob G. Howard (ed.) Network Apocalypse: Visions of the End in an Age of Internet Media Sheffield: Phoenix Pressen_US
dc.relation.referencesWilson, AF. (2012) 'The Invisible Empire: Political extremity and myths of origin in the networked cultic milieu' in Marion Gibson, Garry Tregidga and Shelley Trower (eds.) Myth, Mysticism, and 'Celtic' Nationalism. London: Routledgeen_US
dc.relation.referencesWilson, AF. (2013) 'From Mushrooms to the stars: 2012 and the apocalyptic milieu' in S.Harvey & S.Newcombe (eds.) Prophecy in the New Millennium - When Prophecies Persist. Farnham: Ashgateen_US
dc.relation.referencesWilson, AF. (2017) ‘Postcards from the Cosmos: Cosmic Spaces in Alternative Religion and Conspiracy Theories’. The Journal of Astrosociology Volume 2.
dc.relation.referencesWilson, AF. (2017) ‘The Bitter End: Apocalypse and conspiracy in white nationalist responses to the ISIL Paris Attacks’. Patterns of Prejudice 51(5), 412-431en_US
dc.relation.referencesWilson, AF. (2018) ‘#whitegenocide, the Alt-right and Conspiracy Theory: How Secrecy and Suspicion Contributed to the Mainstreaming of Hate.’ Secrecy and Society 1(2).
dc.relation.referencesWilson, AF. (2019) 'The Prism of Lyra: UFO Consciousness and Portals to Cosmic Awareness’ in Jake Poller (ed.) Altered Consciousness in the Twentieth Century (London: Routledge)en_US

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