“Writing all this is helping me justify my plan and to see the futility of continuing:” An Exploratory Study on the Use of Neutralization Techniques in Incel Manifestos
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Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
“Incels”, or involuntary celibates, are a self-described, largely anonymous
online community of men who embrace and promote a deeply misogynistic worldview. This study explored how Incels use “neutralization techniques” (first identified in research by Sykes and Matza, 1957) through a thematic analysis of Incel manifestos, personal diaries, online blogs, and police interviews. Analysis revealed that violent Incels use a variety of neutralization techniques to justify their crimes. Entitlement was found to be the biggest rationale behind their views and actions. A new theme also emerged from the data centered around the belief that life is futile and nothing can improve their lives. This study has the potential to help us understand the psychological procedures that allow Incels to mobilize to violence and can help us assemble a more comprehensive picture of their worldview and psychology.
Papatheodorou, Katerina, "“Writing all this is helping me justify my plan and to see the futility of continuing:” An Exploratory Study on the Use of Neutralization Techniques in Incel Manifestos." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2022.
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