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Dr. J. (Jaron) Harambam MSc

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Programme group: Cultural Sociology

Visiting address
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Room number: C6.09
Postal address
  • Postbus 15508
    1001 NA Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    Jaron Harambam (PhD) is Assistant Professor of Media, Truth Politics and Digitalization at the Sociology Department of the University of Amsterdam. His research deals with public disputes over truth in a digitalized public sphere. More specifically, he studies conspiracy theories, news and platform politics, and AI (content moderation, search/recommender systems). Central to his research is the participation of multiple stakeholders to design our (future) digital worlds along democratic and public values. His monograph "Contemporary Conspiracy Culture: Truth and Knowledge in an Era of Epistemic Instability" (2020) is out at Routledge.

    He is also affiliated with the Athena Institute at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he is co-PI of a NWA funded research project on climate science citizen assemblies. This research project aims to inform climate research with the interests, concerns and desires of citizens, in an effort to bring climate science and society closer together.

    He was Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship holder at the Institute for Media Studies (KU Leuven, Belgium), and worked before as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam, being part of the multi-disciplinary Fair News Project studying the role of algorithms in news provision.

    He defended his PhD (cum laude, highest distinction) October 2017 at the Rotterdam Centre for Cultural Sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, titled: “The Truth Is Out There” – Conspiracy Culture in an Age of Epistemic Instability. He won the "Best Dissertation 2017-19" award of the Dutch Sociology Association (NSV). He is Chair of the open-access Dutch-Belgian peer-reviewed journal Tijdschrift Sociologie, and member of the European network of scholars working on conspiracy theories, COST COMPACT.

  • Publications

    2023

    • Alinejad, D. (Guest ed.), Habed, A. J. (Guest ed.), & Harambam, J. (Guest ed.) (2023). Special issue: Trust, media, and science in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Digital Social Research , 5(3), 1-170. https://jdsr.se/ojs/index.php/jdsr/issue/view/15/16
    • Alinejad, D., Habed, A. J., & Harambam, J. (2023). Special issue: Trust, media, and science in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Digital Social Research , 5(3), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.33621/jdsr.v5i3.195
    • Grusauskaite, K., Carbone, L., Harambam, J., & Aupers, S. (2023). Debating (in) echo chambers: How culture shapes communication in conspiracy theory networks on YouTube: How culture shapes communication in conspiracy theory networks on YouTube. New Media and Society. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448231162585
    • Harambam, J. (2023). Distrusting consensus: How a uniform corona pandemic narrative fostered suspicion and conspiracy theories. Journal of Digital Social Research , 5(3), 109-139. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.33621/jdsr.v5i3.143 [details]
    • Harambam, J. (2023). The Proliferation of Alternative Media: How Corona Conspiracy Theories in the Netherlands Fostered New Social Movements. In M. Butter, & P. Knight (Eds.), Covid Conspiracy Theories in Global Perspective (pp. 252-267). (Conspiracy Theories). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003330769-24 [details]
    • Harambam, J., & Voss, E. (2023). The Corona Truth Wars: Epistemic Disputes and Societal Conflicts around a Pandemic—An Introduction to the Special Issue. Minerva, 61(3), 299-313. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11024-023-09511-1 [details]

    2022

    • Grusauskaite, K., Harambam, J., & Aupers, S. (2022). Picturing Opaque Power: How Conspiracy Theorists Construct Oppositional Videos on YouTube. Social Media and Society, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.1177/20563051221089568
    • Harambam, J. (2022). Een (on)gelukkig huwelijk? Over de verrassende versmelting van spiritualiteit en complottheorieën. Tijdschrift over Cultuur & Criminaliteit, 12(2), 72-80.
    • Harambam, J., Grusauskaite, K., & de Wildt, L. (2022). Poly-truth, or the limits of pluralism: Popular debates on conspiracy theories in a post-truth era. Public Understanding of Science, 31(6), 784-798. https://doi.org/10.1177/09636625221092145
    • Van den Bogaert, L., Geerts, D., & Harambam, J. (2022). Putting a Human Face on the Algorithm: Co-Designing Recommender Personae to Democratize News Recommender Systems. Digital Journalism. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/21670811.2022.2097101

    2021

    • Grodzicka, E. D., & Harambam, J. (2021). What should academics do about conspiracy theories? Moving beyond debunking to better deal with conspiratorial movements, misinformation and post-truth. Journal for Cultural Research, 25(1), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/14797585.2021.1886420
    • Harambam, J. (2021). Against modernist illusions: why we need more democratic and constructivist alternatives to debunking conspiracy theories. Journal for Cultural Research, 25(1), 104-122. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/14797585.2021.1886424 [details]
    • Harambam, J. (2021). Conspiracy theories: Misinformed publics or wittingly believing false information? In The Routledge Companion to Media Disinformation and Populism (pp. 302-311). Taylor and Francis Inc..
    • Harambam, J., & Aupers, S. (2021). From the unbelievable to the undeniable: Epistemological pluralism, or how conspiracy theorists legitimate their extraordinary truth claims. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 24(4), 990-1008. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367549419886045 [details]
    • Makhortykh, M., de Vreese, C., Helberger, N., Harambam, J., & Bountouridis, D. (2021). We are what we click: Understanding time and content-based habits of online news readers. New Media & Society, 23(9), 2773-2800. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444820933221 [details]

    2020

    2019

    • Aupers, S., & Harambam, J. (2019). Rational Enchantments: Conspiracy Theory between Secular Scepticism and Spiritual Salvation. In A. Dyrendal, D. G. Robertson, & E. Asprem (Eds.), Handbook of Conspiracy Theory and Contemporary Religion (pp. 48-69). (Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion; Vol. 17). Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004382022_004 [details]
    • Bountouridis, D., Harambam, J., Makhortykh, M., Marrero, M., Tintarev, N., & Hauff, C. (2019). SIREN: A simulation framework for understanding the effects of recommender systems in online news environments. In FAT* '19: proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency : January 29-31, 2019, Atlanta, GA, USA (pp. 150-159). The Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3287560.3287583 [details]
    • Harambam, J., Bountouridis, D., Makhortykh, M., & van Hoboken, J. (2019). Designing for the better by taking users into account: a qualitative evaluation of user control mechanisms in (news) recommender systems. In 13th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems: RECSYS 2019 : Copenhagen, Denmark, September 16-20, 2019 (pp. 69-77). The Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3298689.3347014 [details]
    • Sullivan, E., Bountouridis, D., Harambam, J., Najafian, S., Loecherbach, F., Makhortykh, M., Kelen, D., Wilkinson, D., Graus, D., & Tintarev, N. (2019). Reading news with a purpose: Explaining user profiles for self-actualization. In ACM UMAP '19 adjunct: adjunct publication of the 27th Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization : June 9-12, 2019, Larnaca, Cyprus (pp. 241-245). The Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/3314183.3323456 [details]

    2018

    • Harambam, J., Helberger, N., & van Hoboken, J. (2018). Democratizing algorithmic news recommenders: how to materialize voice in a technologically saturated media ecosystem. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A - Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 376(2133), Article 20180088. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2018.0088 [details]

    2017

    2015

    • Harambam, J., & Aupers, S. (2015). Contesting epistemic authority: Conspiracy theories on the boundaries of science. Public Understanding of Science, 24(4), 466-480. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963662514559891

    2013

    • Harambam, J., Aupers, S., & Houtman, D. (2013). THE CONTENTIOUS GAP: From digital divide to cultural beliefs about online interactions. Information Communication and Society, 16(7), 1093-1114. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2012.687006

    2011

    • Harambam, J., Aupers, S., & Houtman, D. (2011). Game over? negotiating modern capitalism in virtual game worlds. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 14(3), 299-319. https://doi.org/10.1177/1367549410393232

    2018

    • Bastian, M. B., Harambam, J., & Makhortykh, M. (2018). Personalizing the news: How media outlets communicate their algorithmic recommendation practices online. Paper presented at Amsterdam Privacy Conference 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
    • Harambam, J., & Makhortykh, M. (2018). All the news you want to read: Personalization as the future imaginary of the news industry. Abstract from We are on a mission, Berlin, Germany.
    • Makhortykh, M., & Harambam, J. (2018). Decoding the cryptic: How news media communicate personalization practices. Abstract from 7th European Communication Conference (ECREA), Lugano, Switzerland.
    • Makhortykh, M., & Harambam, J. (2018). Who controls the algorithm? Conceptualizing agenda-setting in the context of a personalized news media ecosystem. Abstract from ECPR General Conference, Hamburg, Germany.

    Prize / grant

    • Harambam, J. (2019). Best Dissertation Award 2017-2019.

    Membership / relevant position

    Media appearance

    • Harambam, J. (24-12-2018). NRC Handelsblad: Ook de oude Grieken waren al dol op een goed complot. Complottheorieën Waarom geloven mensen in complotten? Is er een evolutionaire verklaring, of is er meer aan de hand? Bart Funnekotter, December 24, 2018 [Print] NRC Handelsblad. NRC Handelsblad: Ook de oude Grieken waren al dol op een goed complot. Complottheorieën Waarom geloven mensen in complotten? Is er een evolutionaire verklaring, of is er meer aan de hand?. https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2018/12/24/ook-de-oude-grieken-waren-al-dol-op-een-goed-complot-a3126947
    • Harambam, J. (14-09-2018). NRC Handelsblad: Wat leeft er in de wereld van Nederlandse complottheorieën? (What is cooking in the world of Dutch conspiracy theories?) Reinier Kist and Liza van Lonkhuyzen, September 14, 2018 [Print] NRC Handelsblad. NRC Handelsblad: Wat leeft er in de wereld van Nederlandse complottheorieën? (What is cooking in the world of Dutch conspiracy theories?). https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2018/09/14/wat-leeft-er-in-de-wereld-van-nederlandse-complottheorieen-a1616555
    • Harambam, J. (10-08-2018). NU.nl: Hoever mogen bedrijven de vrijheid van meningsuiting online inperken? (How far can companies go in limiting freedom of speech online?), Stan Huls, August 10, 2018 [Web] NU.nl. Hoe ver mogen bedrijven de vrijheid van meningsuiting online inperken? (How far can companies go in limiting freedom of speech online?).
    • Harambam, J. (08-05-2018). De Correspondent: ‘Complotdenkers zijn normaler dan je denkt’ (Conspiracy theorists are more normal than you think), Dimitri Tokmetzis, May 8, 2018 [Web] De Correspondent. ‘Complotdenkers zijn normaler dan je denkt’ (Conspiracy theorists are more normal than you think). https://decorrespondent.nl/8236/complotdenkers-zijn-normaler-dan-je-denkt/401068492-66a1a1e7
    • Harambam, J. (20-02-2018). EOS Wetenschap: ‘Hoe wordt iemand een complotdenker?’ (How does someone become a conspiracy theorist?), Jop de Vrieze, February 20, 2018 [Print] EOS Wetenschap. ‘Hoe wordt iemand een complotdenker?’ (How does someone become a conspiracy theorist?). https://www.eoswetenschap.eu/psyche-brein/hoe-wordt-iemand-een-complotdenker

    Journal editor

    • Harambam, J. (editor) (2011-2021). Sociologie (Journal).

    Talk / presentation

    • Harambam, J. (speaker) (21-11-2018). Tegenlicht Meetup #144 “Deep Fake News: Hoe kunnen we online nog waarheid van leugen onderscheiden?”, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam., Tegenlicht Meetup #144 “Deep Fake News: Hoe kunnen we online nog waarheid van leugen onderscheiden?”, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam. , Amsterdam. https://dezwijger.nl/programma/deep-fake-news
    • Harambam, J. (speaker) (20-11-2018). Mini-College Complotdenken in de klas, Nieuws of Nonsens in de klas - Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Hilversum.
    • Harambam, J. (speaker) (7-11-2018). Wat te doen met waarheid in een technologisch gemedieerde wereld, "Online democratie: wat levert het op?” Organised by the Raad van Openbaar Bestuur and the Rathenau Institute, Pakhuis de Regah, The Hague. , The Hague.
    • Harambam, J. (speaker), Helberger, N. (speaker) & van Hoboken, J. V. J. (speaker) (1-11-2018). Democratizing algorithmic news recommenders: how to materialize voice in a technologically saturated media ecosystem, ECREA Bi-Annual Conference 2018, Lugano.
    • Harambam, J. (speaker) (8-10-2018). Democratizing algorithmic news recommenders: how to materialize voice in a technologically saturated media ecosystem, Amsterdam Privacy Conference 2018, Amsterdam.
    • Harambam, J. (speaker) (7-10-2018). De waarheid is een slagveld, Brainwash Talks - Television Show - HUMAN. https://www.human.nl/brainwash/kijk/overzicht/brainwash-talks/7-oktober.html
    • Harambam, J. (speaker) (27-9-2018). Wizard, be my algorithm today! Democratizing recommender systems with algorithmic personae., BIG DATA MEETS APPLIED AI-CONGRESS 2018, The Hague .
    • Harambam, J. (speaker) (8-9-2018). De waarheid is een slagveld, 12 grootse denkers in één dag - The School of Life - HUMAN, Amsterdam.
    • Harambam, J. (speaker) (12-6-2018). The Illuminati Decoded: the practice and meaning of conspiracy theories in the contemporary society, KNAW LEZINGENREEKS GEHEIME KENNIS #3
      , Amsterdam. https://www.knaw.nl/nl/actueel/agenda/westerse-esoterie
    • Harambam, J. (speaker) (30-3-2018). Is conspiracy theorizing the new belief in the devil?, Nacht van de filosofie: Amsterdam, Amsterdam.
    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
  • Ancillary activities
    No ancillary activities