Fake news as a floating signifier : hegemony, antagonism and the politics of falsehood

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Fake news as a floating signifier : hegemony, antagonism and the politics of falsehood

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Fake news as a floating signifier : hegemony, antagonism and the politics of falsehood
Author Farkas, Johan ; Schou, Jannick
Date 2018
English abstract
‘Fake news’ has emerged as a global buzzword. While prominent media outlets, such as The New York Times, CNN, and CBS, have used the term to designate misleading information spread through websites, President Donald Trump has recently used the term as a negative designation of these very ‘mainstream media’. In this article, we argue that the concept of ‘fake news’ has become an important component in contemporary political struggles. We showcase how the term is utilised by different positions within the social space as a means of discrediting, attacking and delegitimising political opponents. Excavating three central moments within the construction of ‘fake news’, we argue that the term has increasingly become a ‘floating signifier’: a signifier lodged in-between different hegemonic projects seeking to provide an image of how society is and ought to be structured. By approaching ‘fake news’ from the viewpoint of discourse theory, the paper reframes the current stakes of the debate and contributes with new insights into the function and consequences of ‘fake news’ as a novel political category.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13183222.2018.1463047 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Link http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13183222.2018.1463047 .Icon
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Host/Issue Javnost : The Public;3
Volume 25
ISSN 1854-8377
Pages 298-314
Language eng (iso)
Subject fake news
floating signifier
misinformation
disinformation
discourse theory
Donald Trump
Ernesto Laclau
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/24514 Permalink to this page
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