The Imposter as Social Theory

Thinking with Gatecrashers, Cheats and Charlatans

Edited by expert scholars, this volume explores the 'imposter' through empirical cases, including click farms, bikers, business leaders and fraudulent scientists, providing insights into the social relations and cultural forms from which they emerge.

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The figure of the imposter can stir complicated emotions, from intrigue to suspicion and fear. But what insights can these troublesome figures provide into the social relations and cultural forms from which they emerge?

Edited by leading scholars in the field, this volume explores the question through a diverse range of empirical cases, including magicians, spirit possession, fake Instagram followers, fake art and fraudulent scientists.

Proposing ‘thinking with imposters’ as a valuable new tool of analysis in the social sciences and humanities, this revolutionary book shows how the figure of the imposter can help upend social theory.

Steve Woolgar is Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Linköping University and Professor of Marketing Emeritus at Oxford University.

Else Vogel is Assistant Professor at University of Amsterdam.

David Moats is Assistant Professor at Linköping University.

Claes-Fredrik Helgesson is Professor and Research Director at the Centre for Integrated Research on Culture and Society (CIRCUS) at Uppsala University.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.