Date of Thesis

Spring 2023


Advancing contemporary work in the sociology of culture that contends the importance of structural explanations in the “post-truth age,” this paper contends a relationship between the contemporary appeal of the QAnon and Anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, nationalist populism, and Enlightenment Project’s valorization of knowledge dissemination. In order to locate themes in the discourse of QAnon and Anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists, I analyze social media messages on the avenues in which the theories most widely circulate and documentary films created by purveyors of the theories. Applying cultural theory to empirically-documented trends in social psychology, I argue that two structural currents associated with the deification of speed–the crisis of burnout and the development of the algorithm–can offer a powerful explanation of the current appeal of these largely right-wing social movements.


Conspiracy Theory, Nationalism, Populism, Sociology of Culture, the Enlightenment, Mass Media

Access Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts



Minor, Emphasis, or Concentration


First Advisor

Matt Baltz

Second Advisor

Michael Drexler