Mapping out an Anthropology of Defrauding and Faking

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Contributed date

February 6, 2023 - 10:30am

Critical Commentary

Abstract: In the aftermath of the global economic crisis and the rise of post-truth in media and politics, trust and authenticity appear as fleeting qualities, having been replaced by suspicions of fraud and fakery. By looking at defrauding and faking as practices and questioning public discourses about them, laden with normative evaluations, as they are, this special issue ethnographically explores everyday interactions and imaginaries, to learn about the underlying political, economic and moral changes. Studying defrauding and faking opens a unique window to various key issues: the emergence (and crisis) of routines and technologies for establishing trustworthiness and genuineness, fraudsters’ knowledge production and problematic research ethics. We feel that anthropologists need to challenge themselves with topics that afford no sure footing, in moral or political terms, to produce new irritants, questions and insights.


Beek, Jan, Cassis Kilian, and Matthias Krings. 2019. “Mapping out an Anthropology of Defrauding and Faking.” Social Anthropology 27 (3): 425–37.

Cite as

Jan Beek, Cassis Kilian and Matthias Krings, "Mapping out an Anthropology of Defrauding and Faking", contributed by James Adams, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 6 February 2023, accessed 21 June 2024.