Conspiracies, Ideological Entrepreneurs, and Digital Popular Culture

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Conspiracies, Ideological Entrepreneurs, and Digital Popular Culture


  • Aaron Hyzen Department of Communication Studies, Antwerp University, Belgium
  • Hilde Van den Bulck Department of Communication, Drexel University, USA


Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 624 | Downloads: 344


Abstract:  This contribution starts from the contemporary surge in conspiracism to develop a theoretical framework to understand how conspiracy theories make it from the margins to the mainstream. To this end, it combines a view of conspiracy theories as ideology and its propagandists as ideological entrepreneurs with insights into how the affordances of digital media and popular culture are instrumental in propagating the conspiracy theories. It further complements sociological and psychological explanations with a fandom perspective to grasp the diversity of conspiracy audiences. Together, it is argued, these factors allow ideological entrepreneurs to push conspiracy theories from the margins to the mainstream. Alex Jones and QAnon are discussed as cases in point.

Keywords:  Alex Jones; alternative media; conspiracy theories; digital popular culture; ideological entrepreneurs; popular culture; QAnon

Published:   13 September 2021


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v9i3.4092


© Aaron Hyzen, Hilde Van den Bulck. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.