De verbeelding van onzichtbare macht. De productie en consumptie van complottheorieen op YouTube
(Dutch summary to be provided in the course of the PhD) The research is distinctly located at the intersection of (cultural) sociology and communication sciences/ media studies. On the one hand, beliefs in conspiracies are not (just) psychological phenomena. Conspiracy theories in the West are widespread, radical expressions of cultural discontent about modern institutions, the elite and their authority and are hence relevant to study for (cultural) sociologists, political and other social scientists. On the other hand, this research focuses clearly on the mediatization of such conspiracy theories-particularly because the existing social scientific literature shows a blind spot for the role of the internet in the production and consumption of conspiracy theories. From this perspective, the research question how and why people imagine opaque power on YouTube- i.e. the way mainstream media messages about politicians and pop stars are 'decoded', 'reconstructed' into 'oppositional reading' on YouTube and, in turn, ae interpreted by consumers- is distinctly embedded in media studies on 'audience reception', 'visual semiotics' and the like.