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Fabricating Authenticity

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Fabricating Authenticity expands on revised posts that originally appeared on the blog for Culture on the Edge — an international research collaborative that analyzes strategies of identification. The newly envisioned main chapters in this volume draw on a variety of sites, topics, and case studies to explore what is at stake in claims of authenticity. Here, authenticity is examined as a socially contested and constructed label that is used to manage and codify a variety of choices in relation to understandings of identity formation. Building on the main chapters, Fabricating Authenticity is a collaborative enterprise that engages fourteen early career scholars to respond, critique, and press further the approaches and arguments put forth by members of Culture on the Edge.

Following the format of the earlier volumes in the Working with Culture on the Edge series, the introduction and afterword provide a more substantive, theoretical analysis on the discourse of authenticity. Together with the main chapters and responses, Fabricating Authenticity explores everyday examples that work as productive conversation-starters for those wanting to complicate and examine authenticity claims, thus making this an ideal volume for the introductory classroom and beyond.

Published: Aug 1, 2024

Book Contributors


Section Chapter Authors
Preface Jason W.M. Ellsworth, Andie Alexander
Commodifying Authenticity Jason W.M. Ellsworth, Andie Alexander
Chapter 1
Is there Lettuce in Greek Salad? Russell McCutcheon
Chapter 2
Beyond Authenticity? Ian Alexander Cuthbertson
Chapter 3
Marketing the Authentic Taco Jason W.M. Ellsworth
Chapter 4
A Remembrance of Dishes Past Rachel Brown
Chapter 5
Because YOU'RE an Early Adopter (and I'M NOT): Commodity Fetishism and Identification Christopher Cotter
Chapter 6
Fool's Gold: Tapping into Luxury Ping-hsiu Alice Lin
Chapter 7
"Maybe She's Born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline" Tara Baldrick-Morrone
Chapter 8
Satisfaction Not Guaranteed: COVID-19, Higher Ed and the Politics of "Experience" Sierra Lynn Lawson
Chapter 9
A Man, a Tan, "God's Plan" Richard Newton
Chapter 10
Just in It for a Paycheck?: On Philanthrocapitalism, Petro-States and Paid Protesters Stacie Swain
Chapter 11
On the Tyranny of Individualism: MAGA Boy, Media and the Drum Matthew Sheedy
Chapter 12
Symbols and Ownership Yasmine Flodin-Ali
Chapter 13
Donald Trump: A "Baby Christian"? Leslie Dorrough Smith
Chapter 14
An Orbiter is a Simp, a Foid is a Foid Nevada Drollinger-Smith
Chapter 15
Naming Things Steven Ramey
Chapter 16
While Whitey's on the Moon Annie Rose O'Brien
Chapter 17
In Their Own Terms Vaia Touna
Chapter 18
Laurel, Mississippi, in its Own Terms (Kind of) Marshall Cunningham
Chapter 19
"A Good Fake or a Bad Fake"? Andie Alexander
Chapter 20
Pay Attention!: Media, Performance and Discourses on Authenticity Daniel Jones
Chapter 21
Do People Misunderstand their Own Religion? Craig Martin
Chapter 22
But is it Really Religion? Savannah Finver
Chapter 23
If it's not Authentic, it's not a Religion Teemui Taira
Chapter 24
Rebranding Religion: Authenticity, Appropriation and the Marketplace Zabeen Khamisa
Chapter 25
Is there Neo-Nazi DNA? Ancestry Tests and Biological Essentialism in American Racism Martha Smith
Chapter 26
Making Sense of a Sense of Self Israel Dominguez
Chapter 27
The Moves we Make K. Merinda Simmons
Chapter 28
Trans* Muslims and Jessica Krug: Analyzing the Discursive Power of Authenticity Hinasahar Muneeruddin
Afterword: A Little Heritage Goes a Long Way Andie Alexander, Jason W.M. Ellsworth