Document Type

Honors Thesis


Political Science


Mark Brewer

Committee Members

Anthony Haines, Ryan LaRochelle, Richard Powell, Steve Veves

Graduation Year

May 2022

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022


The term cancel culture describes a phenomenon in which people are effectively shunned from society for their actions or statements due to others’ dislike of those actions or statements. While this term has become widely used in politics in recent years, many of the reasons people are cancelled have no direct link to politics. However, there are several characteristics, some politically-linked, that make people more apt to engage in cancel culture. Statistics show that the two characteristics which mark people as likely to engage in cancel culture are identifying as a Democrat and being part of the millennial or GenZ generations. These two factors hold true within the broader culture and in academia. While those who are ideologically more liberal are more likely to cancel, there are examples of conservatives cancelling as well, and examples of cancellations by both parties are illustrated in four case studies.

Understanding cancel culture is vital for those who are attempting to avoid finding themselves cancelled, as well as for those who study or involve themselves in politics. For those who have political involvement, understanding the overlap between cancel culture and political characteristics is important, as political affiliation is one of the two biggest predictors of whether individuals will engage in cancel culture.