##plugins.themes.bootstrap3.article.main##

João M. Monteiro

Abstract

One of the markers of the present era is the emergence of the notion of “fake news†and all that it begets: aggressive disputes over what is real and true, a polarization and hardening of preferred viewpoints, and ultimately a corrosion of public trust. While the phenomenon of disinformation or misinformation is hardly new, it presents itself in this current moment with unprecedented vigor fueled by our advanced information and communication technologies, especially social media. This climate of rapid change and uncertainty poses a significant challenge for the academy and especially the Christian university, whose work and purpose are intrinsically tied to values such as objectivity, facts, and evidence, all of which appear to be under siege at the moment. This paper reflects on this challenge, and suggests that imagination aligned with a continued commitment to objectivity may offer the most viable and promising way forward. 

##plugins.themes.bootstrap3.article.details##

Keywords

fake news, objectivity, imagination, Christian college

##article.references##
Alexander, Jeffrey. 2011. “Fact-Signs and Cultural Sociology: How Meaning-Making Liberates the Sociological Imagination.” Thesis Eleven 104(1):87-93.

Allcott, Hunt and Matthew Gentzkow. 2017. "Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 Election." Journal of Economic Perspectives 31(2):211-36.

American Dialect Society. 2018. “Fake news” is 2017 American Dialect Society Word of the Year.” Retrieved January 30, 2018 (https://www.americandialect.org/fake-news-is2017-american-dialect-society-word-of-the-year).

Berger, Peter. 1963. Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective. New York: Anchor Books.

Berger, Peter. 1966. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Anchor Books.

Brooks, David. 2002. “Light Shows of the Mind.” The Atlantic Monthly. Retrieved August 6, 2017 (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2002/12/light-shows-of-themind/302633/).

Burdziej, Stanislaw. 2014. “Sociological and Theological Imagination in a Post-secular Society.” Polish Sociological Review 2(186):179-194.

Calhoun, Craig. 2002. Dictionary of the Social Sciences. New York: Oxford University Press.

Carson, James. 2016. “What is fake news? Its origins and How It Grew in 2016.” The Telegraph, March 16. Retrieved August 4, 2017 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/0/fakenews-origins-grew-2016/).

Collins Dictionary. 2017. “The Collins Word of the Year 2017 Is Fake News.” Retrieved January 6, 2018 (https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/woty).

Corner, John. 2017. “Fake News, Post-Truth, and Media-Political Change.” Media, Culture, & Society 39(7):1100-1107. Retrieved March 4, 2018 (http://ezproxy.eastern.edu:4020/doi/pdf/10.1177/0163443717726743).

Duffy, John. 2017. “Post-Truth and First-Year Writing” Inside Higher Ed, May 8. Retrieved July 30, 2017 (https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2017/05/08/first-year-writingclasses-can-teach-students-how-make-fact-based-arguments-essay).

Gallup Organization. 2017. “In U.S., Confidence in Newspapers Still Low but Rising.” Retrieved July 30, 2017 (http://news.gallup.com/poll/212852/confidence-newspapers-lowrising.aspx).

Gallup Organization. 2017. “Republicans', Democrats' Views of Media Accuracy Diverge.” Retrieved September 27, 2017 (http://news.gallup.com/poll/216320/republicansdemocrats-views-media-accuracy-diverge.aspx).

Gatehouse, Jonathon. 2014. “America Dumbs Down.” Maclean’s, May 15. Retrieved January 12, 2018. (http://www.macleans.ca/politics/america-dumbs-down/).

Gladstone, Brooke. 2017. The Trouble with Reality: A Rumination on Moral Panic in Our Time. New York: Workman.

Heitger, Raymond and Andrea Milner. 2017. “Trusting STEM Experts and Authorities in the Age of ‘Fake News.’” School Science and Mathematics 117(3-4):89-91. Retrieved March 4, 2018. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1111/ssm.12216/full).

Hofstadter, Richard. 1964. Anti-Intellectualism in American Life. New York: Knopf.

Jacoby, Susan. 2008. The Age of American Unreason. New York: Pantheon

Jaschik, Scott. 2017. “Education Secretary Criticizes Professors as Telling Students ‘What to Think.’” Inside Higher Ed, February 24. Retrieved July 30, 2017 (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/02/24/education-secretary-criticizesprofessors-telling-students-what-think).

Kahan, Dan, Hank Jenkins-Smith, and Donald Braman. 2011. “Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus.” Journal of Risk Research 14 (2): 147–174.

Kozol, Jonathan. 2012. Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. New York: Broadway.

Lazer, David M., Matthew A. Baum, Yochai Benkler, Adam J. Berinsky, Kelly M. Greenhill, Filippo Menczer, Miriam J Metzger, Brendan Nyhan, Gordon Pennycook, David Rothschild, Michael Schudson, Steven A. Sloman, Cass R. Sunstein, Emily A. Thorson, Duncan J. Watts, and Jonathan L. Zittrain. 2018. “The Science of Fake News.” Science 359(6380):1094-1096. Retrieved March 10, 2018 (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6380/1094/tab-pdf).

Leetaru, Kalev. 2016. “How Academia, Google Scholar and Predatory Publishers Help Feed Academic Fake News.” Forbes, December 16. Retrieved March 2, 2018 (https://www.forbes.com/sites/kalevleetaru/2016/12/16/how-academia-googlescholar-and-predatory-publishers-help-feed-academic-fake-news/#acea3b2768a3).

Lelkes, Yphtach. 2016. “Mass Polarization: Manifestations and Measurements.” Public Opinion Quarterly 80(S1):392–410.

Macquarie Dictionary. 2017. “The Committee’s Choice for Word of the Year 2016 Goes to…” Retrieved July 3, 2017 (https://www.macquariedictionary.com.au/news/view/article/431/).

Mihailidis, Paul and Samantha Viotty. 2017. “Spreadable Spectacle in Digital Culture: Civic Expression, Fake News, and the Role of Media Literacies in “Post-Fact” Society. American Behavioral Scientist 61(4):441-454.

Mills, Charles W. 1959. The Sociological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press. Oxford Dictionaries. 2016. “Word of the Year 2016 is...” Retrieved July 3, 2017 (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/word-of-the-year/word-of-the-year-2016).

Pew Research Center. 2016. “2016 Concerns About Fake News.” Retrieved July 3, 2017 (http://www.journalism.org/dataset/2016-fake-news/).

Pew Research Center. 2017. “Sharp Partisan Divisions in Views of National Institutions.” Retrieved September 27, 2017 (http://www.people-press.org/2017/07/10/sharppartisan-divisions-in-views-of-national-institutions/).

Tate, Emily. 2017. “Creative Course Finder: Fake News” Inside Higher Ed, March 22. Retrieved July 30, 2017 (https://www.insidehighered.com/digitallearning/article/2017/03/22/davidson-college-launches-online-course-about-fakenews).

Weber, Max. 1946. “Science as a Vocation.” Pp. 129-156 in From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, edited by Hans Gerth and C. Wright Mills. New York: Oxford University Press.

Wineburg, Sam, Sarah McGrew, Joel Breakstone, and Teresa Ortega. 2016. “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning.” Stanford Digital Repository. Available at: http://purl.stanford.edu/fv751yt5934

Wright, N. T. 2011. “Imagining the Kingdom: Mission and Theology in Early Christianity.” Retrieved August 5, 2017 (http://ntwrightpage.com/2016/07/12/imagining-thekingdom/).
Section
Articles