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The NSSR Sociology Graduate Conference is an annual event organized by the sociology graduate student body at the New School for Social Research. Graduate students, post-doctoral students, and faculty are invited to present their work. The conference is free and open to the general public.

The 2018 Conference, “Authentic Myths, Fabricated Truths and The Ordering of Society,” will be held on March 31.

Brexit and the election of Donald Trump are events propelled by the widespread use of misinformation, and manipulation of truths and facts. Though these events
might appear novel and unprecedented, signaled by terms like “Post-Truth,” the distortion and fabrication of truths and trustworthiness to order and construct society are not a new phenomena. Fallacies, “fake news”, fabricated realities, and delusions have been historically recurrent in the ordering of society, classification of social categories, and management of behaviors, customs, and identities.

Religious superstitions and dogmas prevented scientific inquiry into the nature of the universe; Darwinist theories justified racism; scientific claims about HIV being “gay-cancer”; Conspiracy theories were instrumental to legitimize violence against Jews during the Dreyfus Affair; ancient myths confirmed the historical claims of nations to territories and subsequent ethnic-cleansing; false intelligence reports legitimated the invasion of Iraq; and fraudulent credit ratings stimulated market expansion and collapse.

What drives the construction of such realities? How are “regimes of truth” legitimated? Who has the social authority to establish, claim knowledge of, and distort “facts” and “truths”? And how do these falsehoods, constructions, and regimes impact our social world? Answers to these fundamental questions are not definitive, but Sociology offers multiple lenses and epistemological approaches for the critical examination and exploration of these  questions.

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