Understanding cancel culture: Normative and unequal sanctioning

  • Hervé Saint-Louis Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
Keywords: cancel culture, cancellation, social media, Karen, norms

Abstract

Cancel culture is a phenomenon where individuals transgressing norms are called out and ostracised on social media and other venues by members of the public. While its effects are decried by some and its existence denied by others, the processes that shape cancel culture are misunderstood. In this article, I argue that cancellation can only occur if participating third parties with oversight over transgressing individuals perform sanctions. Furthermore, I explore how cancel culture affects people unequally by looking at the phenomenon known as the Karens. Using social normative theories, I evaluate how women affected by cancellation are facing misogyny through cancel culture.

Author Biography

Hervé Saint-Louis, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

assistant professor of emerging media at Université du Québec à Chicoutimi

Published
2021-06-23
How to Cite
Saint-Louis, H. (2021). Understanding cancel culture: Normative and unequal sanctioning. First Monday, 26(7). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v26i7.10891