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The Imposter as Social Theory – Thinking with Gatecrashers, Cheats and Charlatans - Policy Press Scholarship Online
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The Imposter as Social Theory: Thinking with Gatecrashers, Cheats and Charlatans

Steve Woolgar, Else Vogel, David Moats, and Claes-Fredrik Helgesson


The figure of the imposter stirs a captivating combination of emotions, from intrigue to suspicion and horror. But what insights can these troublesome figures provide into the social relations and cultural forms from which they emerge? Beginning with a critical overview of previous uses of the imposter in social sciences and humanities, this volume explores this question through a diverse range of empirical cases, including click farms, magicians, spirit possession, images of celebrity, fake art and defrauding scientists. Proposing 'Thinking with Imposters' as an important new tool of analysis ... More

Keywords: Imposter, Imposter as analytic, Imposter moments, Social Theory, Indeterminacy, Disorder

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9781529213072
Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2022 DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781529213072.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Steve Woolgar, editor
Linköping University

Else Vogel, editor
University of Amsterdam

David Moats, editor
Linköping University

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1 Thinking with Imposters: The Imposter as Analytic

Else Vogel, David Moats, Steve Woolgar and Claes-Fredrik Helgesson

Postscript: Thinking with Imposters – What Were They Thinking?

Forrest Carter Agnes, Civet Coffee Bean, Iansá Cuckoo and Sarah Jane Oxum, Han van Meegeren, David Rosenhahn, Diederik Stapel and Jorge Enrique Briceño Suárez

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