QAnon as an American Quasi-religious Formation

In the past decade, through the formation of Web 2.0 architecture, researchers pointed out novel ways of social involvement: newfound frontiers have opened for challenging the verification systems of former metanarratives. This situation allowed the existence of parallel “truths.” Combined with the...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Nemes Márk
Format: Article
Published: 2023
Series:Journal Title: Journal of the Korean Academy of New Religions 48 No. 48
Subjects:
doi:10.22245/jkanr.2023.48.48.91

mtmt:34008848
Online Access:http://publicatio.bibl.u-szeged.hu/27413
Description
Summary:In the past decade, through the formation of Web 2.0 architecture, researchers pointed out novel ways of social involvement: newfound frontiers have opened for challenging the verification systems of former metanarratives. This situation allowed the existence of parallel “truths.” Combined with the contemporary American societal environment of distrust and uncertainty, alternative narrative movements, such as QAnon, emerged around 2017. The anonymous online forums of 4Chan and 8Chan offered ideal incubating spheres for a series of vivid conspiracy theories, which after a time, appeared on more popularly used social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. In my paper, I will argue that these conspiracy theories function as quasireligious systems for a certain segment of the American population. The “pickand- choose” systems allow these individuals to find greater meaning in their lives while joining a thriving online –and in the past years, even offline– community. These formations adopt certain, highly visible elements of traditional forms of religiosity – especially resembling the structures of new religious movements – such as the aims for a higher/hidden truth, for a higher/hidden truth, for a higher/hidden truth, character of an all-knowing prophetic leader, the Us vs. Them attitudes, etc. Using Ninian Smart’s system, one with a keen eye may find structural and functional similarities between religiosity and fanatical conspiracy beliefs. Keywords: conspiracy theories, conspirituality, QAnon, new religious movements, new social movements
Physical Description:91-119
ISSN:1738-7035