Populism maintains a specific relationship with discourses of (un)truthfulness. Yet, although a growing body of research has explored the nature and effects of populist rhetoric, populism’s cultivation of reality and dishonesty has been under-theorized. In this paper, we explore three relationships between populism and (un)truthfulness: (1) the cultivation of a conspiracy theory in populist discourse; (2) populism’s denial or discrediting of expert knowledge or empirical information, and the legitimacy of journalism and mainstream sources of knowledge and (3) populist constructions of alternative truths that resonate with common sense and the experiences of the ordinary people. We further explore the effects of discourses of (un)truthfulness, and ways to combat the potentially negative political consequences of populist disinformation. Together, by exploring the discursive relationship between populism and (un)truthfulness, this paper aims to provide more detailed insights in how populist versions of reality and dishonesty that attack mainstream knowledge and interpretations may impact society and political decision-making.
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"We Are Right, They Are Wrong: The Antagonistic Relationship Between Populism and Discourses of (Un)truthfulness,"
disClosure: A Journal of Social Theory: Vol. 29, Article 12.
Available at: https://uknowledge.uky.edu/disclosure/vol29/iss1/12