Decision markets and vernacular postmodernism

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3 Citations (Scopus)


So-called prediction markets have emerged as an alternative to expertise in a range of fields: from predicting the outcome of political elections to selecting among alternative plans for product development, to finding shipwrecks, and predicting Oscar Award winners. Proponents of these markets argue that their use can be expanded to an even wider range of cultural, political, and social events, and thus to serve as guides for choosing among policy alternatives. This article argues that prediction markets serve as a means for addressing the impasses of generalized savvy skepticism-what it dubs a form of vernacular postmodernism. Prediction markets offer to replace debunked forms of expertise while cultivating a populace trained in practices of speculation and risk assessment. Finally, the article considers the uncanny persistence of faith in markets even in the midst of the global economic downturn-apparent evidence of the dramatic failure of speculative markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-416
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Communication Inquiry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • conspiracy theory
  • global economic downturn
  • postmodernism
  • prediction markets

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