Cancel Culture in Academia

My doctoral dissertation examined how social media influenced the work and personal lives of more than 100 academics in the United States.

Key findings include:

  • Social Media function as institutional and social surveillance to enforce norms and favored ideologies on college campuses.

  • Students are viewed as the primary agents of surveillance, using social media to target and punish professors who hold unfavorable views.

  • College professors withdraw from social media out of concern for morally motivated networked harassment, commonly known as "cancel culture."

  • Social media have a "chilling effect" on speech in offline settings as professors self-censor in the classroom to avoid student recording.

  • Faculty engage in acts of resistance and rebellion against cancel culture by using anonymous social media accounts.

  • Academics and their institutions lack formal training on proper use of social media for self-promotion and best practices for addressing online hostility.