Productive Forces of Post-Truth(s)?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Despite efforts to re-establish epistemological order, a litany of fake websites, media misrepresentation, “rumor bombs,” hoaxes, fake news, plagiarisms, and fabricated subjects document the emergence of a post-truth era. Increasing amount of scholarship is shared and distributed in media and thus the truth-value of (qualitative) inquiry also depends on the general discourses and practices operating in this contemporary post-truth era. Although critical thought is prized as the vehicle for advancing understandings, the scholarly literature does little to critically deconstruct the nature of post-truth(s) or question post-truth assumptions, to arrive at alternative conclusions and productive possibilities of our post-truth era. Following many poststructuralist thinkers, we then seek a deconstructive approach that first exposes and then subverts our implicit assumptions and dominant ways of thinking about truth, un-truth, and post-truth. In particular, we first consider broad conditions that shaped post-truth, while focusing on social media as a means and an ends to our obsession over “truth.” To destabilize post-truth assumptions, we then introduce mental comfort stories and critically question whether a pre-truth world ever existed. Next we discuss limitations of truth-regimes, academia, “truth” carnivals, and truth telling. Finally, we consider heterotopic spaces, such as social media, in leveraging onto-epistemological possibilities of post-truth era. To speak to the methodological audiences more broadly we call for a different space for (non)methodologies, theories, subjects, and objects in parallel flux with the complex, unpredictable, and increasingly dense post-truth world we live in.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalQualitative Inquiry
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Academia
  • methodology
  • post-truth
  • qualitative inquiry
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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