Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Professor Jennifer Burkett Pittman

Second Reader

Dr. Amy Sonheim

Third Reader

Dr. Sara Hubbard


In the past decade, the general public’s understanding of social media justice via the media has drastically changed the environment of the public sphere. This policing via the internet is known as ‘cancel culture.' In 2021, cancel culture is commonly defined as “a way of behaving in a society or group, especially on social media, in which it is common to completely reject and stop supporting someone because they have said or done something that offends you” (Cambridge). However, this definition only covers the surface of cancel culture. Not only is the support of a public figure withdrawn by their fans, in more extreme cases, people demand that public figures be stripped of their livelihoods, and be completely blacklisted from their profession for the unforeseeable future. At this point, can we truly call cancel culture helpful? Are these the appropriate measures to be taken when we demand accountability in our public sphere? Or is cancel culture on a path that will become much more destructive? I posit that cancel culture within the context of J.K. Rowling is representative of the worst of what cancel culture has to offer and argue that the culture altogether is more harmful than good.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

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