Introduction: Rumor matters an introductory essay

Gary Alan Fine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

1 Scopus citations


This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts covered in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book organizes an international conference to discuss current scholarship on rumor and contemporary legend. The goal of the conference was to explore the social and political dynamics of rumor and the related concept of urban or contemporary legend. These communicative forms frequently appear in tandem with social problems, including riots, racial or political violence, and social and economic upheavals. Rumor has been recognized as one of the most important contributing factors to violence, prejudice, and discrimination. Although rumor can be innocuous in its content, often the content of rumor deals with issues of public dissension, producing social strain. Rumor with its emotional resonance is often difficult to confront effectively. Whether rumor does encourage movements for social justice or retards those movements must be confronted in each case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRumor Mills
Subtitle of host publicationThe Social Impact of Rumor and Legend
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781351492522
ISBN (Print)0202307468, 9780202307473
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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