Abstract

This article examines one instance of a widely spread rumor (incipient legend) circulated via e-mail in northwest Detroit that Arab employees at a Middle Eastern restaurant cheered when they saw television footage of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. It argues that rumor and legend scholars, especially those examining alternative communication paths including Internet transmission, should work to retain the complexity of performance-oriented studies in their comparative analyses. It takes "the middle road" in building a case for examining, whenever possible, the complex intertwining of localized and globalized "folkloric space"for readings that are richly textured and evocative of a variety of social conditions.

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