115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Post-truth Society and Figures of Authority 

Mladen Kozul, University of Montana

This paper will discuss the structure of authority figures and conceptions of authority in our post-truth society. 


Since approximately the last decade of the 20th century, network news started being replaced by cable, blogs and social media feeds as central sites where citizens access information.  In the pre-cable and social media news-distributing venues, the principle of author's authority was respected. Most of the time, the public knew who authored the news that were distributed or broadcasted. In today's post-truth society, multiples segments of the public space, together with their specific ideologies and hierarchies coexist with minimal interaction among them. Its essential trait is the lack of central authority which can legitimize truthful discourse. This lack helps shape a political culture in which informed voters' decision is replaced by adherence to marketing-produced figures of authority within each of independent social segments. This paper will discuss the conceptions of authority which underpin our current media and political landscape.