#CancelCulture : A critical discourse analysis of cancel culture and its effect on representation and voice.

University essay from Malmö universitet/Institutionen för konst, kultur och kommunikation (K3)

Abstract: Cancel culture has been described by some as a form of online activism. It has also been argued as activism with both negative and positive effects. For the positive side, cancel culture has worked to emphasize the representation and voice of women during the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment at workplaces. On the other hand, cancel culture has a reputation for being "activism-for-bad" when it silences the voice of people that may contribute to the area of communication for development and social change. For example, it is said to have stifled academic freedom and restricted open debates in cultural institutions. The aim of this thesis is to examine how cancel culture determines whose representation and voice is heard, and has it evolved from being a tool of activism to one that is said to threaten democratic participation? The thesis analyses six online articles that appears as the top results on Google Search during a specific timeline between the period of 2015 - 2021. These timelines were determined from Google Trends® by looking at when the term 'cancel culture' were trending highest on the internet. Applying methodological framework based on the theories of Critical Discourse Analysis, this thesis sets out to analyse words and terms used in these online articles that contributed to the discourse on cancel culture and analyses its relations to representation and voice. 

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