Skip to main content
  • Book
  • © 2022

Cancel Culture

A Critical Analysis

Palgrave Macmillan

Authors:

  • Provides an analytical framework for theorizing cancel culture and related phenomena in digital and non-digital spaces

  • Avoids assigning cancel culture to any particular political persuasion, or assessment on the basis of political position

  • Discusses cancel culture as a phenomenon arising at a particular juncture of cultural and political developments

Buying options

eBook USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-97374-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-ix
  2. Introduction

    • Eve Ng
    Pages 1-12
  3. Conclusion

    • Eve Ng
    Pages 137-147
  4. Back Matter

    Pages 149-153

About this book

“We have been waiting for Eve Ng’s book on “cancel culture.” By plumbing the varied political and popular genealogies of cancel culture -- from fan communities and Black counter-publics to U.S. culture warriors and contemporary Chinese nationalisms -- Ng gives readers the tools they need to understand this ever-changing phenomenon, as well as the central role media culture plays in its transformation.”

- Carrie Rentschler, William Dawson Scholar of Feminist Media Studies, McGill University, Canada

“Eve Ng’s wide-ranging book maps the origins and diverse forms of "cancel culture" as it intersects with entertainment media, digital activism, and racial, national, and transnational politics. Written with gusto and sensitivity, this timely study illuminates the role of digital media in shaping popular cultural discourse. Highly recommended to all readers interested in contemporary media culture and politics.”

- Guobin Yang, Professor of Communication and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, USA


“Cancel culture” has become one of the most charged concepts in contemporary culture and politics, but mainstream critiques from both the left and the right provide only snapshots of responses to the phenomenon. Taking a media and cultural studies perspective, this book traces the origins of cancel practices and discourses, and discusses their subsequent evolution within celebrity and fan cultures, consumer culture, and national politics in the U.S. and China. Moving beyond popular press accounts about the latest targets of cancelling or familiar free speech debates, this analysis identifies multiple lineages for both cancelling and criticisms about cancelling, underscoring the various configurations of power associated with “cancel culture” in particular cultural and political contexts.

Eve Ng is Associate Professor in the School of Media Arts and Studies and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Ohio University, USA. Her interdisciplinary scholarship examines LGBTQ media, digital media cultures, and constructions of national identity. She has published in numerous journals, including Communication, Culture & Critique, Development and Change, Feminist Media Studies, Feminist Studies, International Journal of Communication, Journal of Film and Video, Popular Communication, and Transformative Works and Culture.

Keywords

  • Cancel culture
  • Entertainment fandom
  • Social justice
  • Celebrity culture
  • Media activism
  • Fan studies

Reviews

“This material provides an interesting yet complex genealogy of the different but overlapping areas of popular culture, digital activism and national politics. … what should we think about both progressive and conservative commentators in the US and elsewhere who have condemned the cancel culture? … . Are these essentially examples of the same thing? If not, what are the critical differences, and yet are there any underlying similarities between contextually different cancellations? … These questions, and other related problems … are answered in this book in an interesting and clear way.” (Jan Servaes, indepthnews.net, June 2, 2022)

“Eve Ng’s new book … examines the phenomenon of ‘cancel culture’ from a critical media studies perspective, as both cancel practices (what people and institutional actors do) and cancel discourses (commentary about cancelling). … Her analysis moves beyond popular press accounts about the latest targets of cancelling or familiar free speech debates, and underscores the different configurations of power associated with ‘cancel culture’ in specific cultural and political contexts.” (Louisa Hann, New Books network, newbooksnetwork.com, May 11, 2022)

“We have been waiting for Eve Ng’s book on “cancel culture.” By plumbing the varied political and popular genealogies of cancel culture -- from fan communities and Black counter-publics to U.S. culture warriors and contemporary Chinese nationalisms -- Ng gives readers the tools they need to understand this ever-changing phenomenon, as well as the central role media culture plays in its transformation.” (Carrie Rentschler, William Dawson Scholar of Feminist Media Studies, McGill University, Canada)

“Eve Ng’s wide-ranging book maps the origins and diverse forms of cancel culture as it intersects with entertainment media, digital activism, and racial, national, and transnational politics. Written with gusto and sensitivity, this timely study illuminates the role of digital media in shaping popular cultural discourse. Highly recommended to all readers interested in contemporary media culture and politics.”
(Guobin Yang, Professor of Communication and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania, USA)

“In this accessible and extremely readable book Eve Ng explores the politics of 'cancel culture' in the current conjuncture. Whether mobilised from below through online fandoms or wielded from above by politicians in mainstream media, Ng examines the ways in cancel culture is profoundly shaping the production and consumption of culture across the globe. Adopting a critical media studies approach Ng is not necessarily interested in exploring the pros and cons of cancel culture, or whether particular instances of cancelling are wrong or not. Rather her concern is what cancelling as a practice and 'cancel culture' as a discourse reveals about the nature of power in contemporary society, particularly in relation to media. Adopting a historical approach and drawing from an eclectic range of examples Ng has produced a vital book that will be of equal interest to media researchers and general readers interested in the dynamics of cancel culture.”
(Anamik Saha, Senior Lecturer in Media, Communications and Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK)

Authors and Affiliations

  • School of Media Arts and Studies, Ohio University, Athens, USA

    Eve Ng

About the author

Eve Ng is Associate Professor in the School of Media Arts and Studies and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program at Ohio University, USA. Her interdisciplinary scholarship examines LGBTQ media, digital media cultures, and constructions of national identity. She has published in numerous journals,including Communication, Culture & Critique, Development and ChangeFeminist Media Studies, Feminist StudiesInternational Journal of Communication, Journal of Film and VideoPopular Communication, and Transformative Works and Culture

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-97374-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)