American politics are now hurtling forward into unanticipated territories. What mad switchmen placed the US on this set of tracks?

In this special issue of the American Journal of Cultural Sociology, Guest Edited by Jason L. Mast, leading sociologists explain the mystery of how the 2016 US presidential election created a sense of rupture even while the cultural elements that facilitated Trump’s victory have been shaping America’s political, religious, news media and entertainment spheres for some time.

The articles in this special issue explain how and why Donald Trump won the presidency, and they outline how his victory will impact the future of democratic politics, journalism, the US’s positioning in the global order, and America’s model of multicultural citizenship.

This special issue presents new theorizing on post-rupture politics, and charts innovative pathways forward for analysing democratic elections occurring in contexts of fractured civic epistemologies and troubled legitimacies.

Read the issue in full here.

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Fragments, ruptures, and resurgent structures in the 2016 US presidential election – cultural sociology’s new pathways forward
by Jason L. Mast

Politics as a vacation
by Robin Wagner-Pacifici and Iddo Tavory

On the construction sites of history: Where did Donald Trump come from?
by Mabel Berezin

Why evangelicals voted for Trump: A critical cultural sociology
by Philip Gorski

Muslims as outsiders, enemies, and others: The 2016 presidential election and the politics of religious exclusion
by Ruth Braunstein

A period of “wild and fierce fanaticism”: Populism, theo-political militarism, and the crisis of US hegemony
by Julia Hell and George Steinmetz

Deep stories, nostalgia narratives, and fake news: Storytelling in the Trump era
by Francesca Polletta and Jessica Callahan

Journalism after Trump
by Ronald N. Jacobs

When voters are voting, what are they doing?: Symbolic selection and the 2016 U.S. presidential election
by Matthew Norton

The fragmenting of the civil sphere: How partisan identity shapes the moral evaluation of candidates and epistemology
by Daniel Kreiss

Legitimacy troubles and performances of power in the 2016 US presidential election
by Jason L. Mast