Donald Trump: A "Baby Christian"?

Fabricating Authenticity - Jason W.M. Ellsworth

Leslie Dorrough Smith [+-]
Avila University
Dr. Dorrough Smith's most recent research focuses on the cultural significance of American Conservative Protestant rhetoric, with special emphasis on the Christian Right. Many scholars who study the Christian Right (NCR) often account for the movement's popularity and distinction by pointing to its absolutist moral positions, its religious fervor, and its selective embrace of seemingly anti-modernist platforms. Unlike other theories of conservative power that focus on the allure of such moral absolutes, Dr. Dorrough Smith's work shows how these absolutes are really not the defining quality of the movement. Rather, they are the byproduct of a certain type of rhetoric (which she calls "chaos rhetoric") that uses chaos, rather than order, imagery to induce persuasion and thereby secure social power. Her work focuses on the linguistic engineering involved in producing chaos rhetoric, and how such movements depend on the strategic manipulation of specific cultural symbols to naturalize and "sell" their political interests.

Description

Fabricating Authenticity expands on revised posts that originally appeared on the blog for Culture on the Edge — an international research collaborative that analyzes strategies of identification. The newly envisioned main chapters in this volume draw on a variety of sites, topics, and case studies to explore what is at stake in claims of authenticity. Here, authenticity is examined as a socially contested and constructed label that is used to manage and codify a variety of choices in relation to understandings of identity formation. Building on the main chapters, Fabricating Authenticity is a collaborative enterprise that engages fourteen early career scholars to respond, critique, and press further the approaches and arguments put forth by members of Culture on the Edge. Following the format of the earlier volumes in the Working with Culture on the Edge series, the introduction and afterword provide a more substantive, theoretical analysis on the discourse of authenticity. Together with the main chapters and responses, Fabricating Authenticity explores everyday examples that work as productive conversation-starters for those wanting to complicate and examine authenticity claims, thus making this an ideal volume for the introductory classroom and beyond.

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Citation

Dorrough Smith, Leslie . Donald Trump: A "Baby Christian"?. Fabricating Authenticity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Sep 2022. ISBN 9781800501454. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=40266. Date accessed: 20 Oct 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.40266. Sep 2022

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