Decision Making within a Cancel Culture Environment
[Technical Report, Master's Thesis]
US Army Command and General Staff College
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While most are familiar with social medias impact on American society, cancel culture, within the social media revolution, is a relatively new phenomenon. Coming into regular use in 2018, cancel culture is the practice of demanding society to socially ostracize a person, event, or object, based on evidence the person or object in question is offensive to todays norms or morals. Evidence against a victim of cancel culture can be decades-old jokes, controversial opinions, or words and deeds taken out of context and virally spread across social media. In recent events, Civil War monuments, celebrities, politicians, historical figures, and even relatively unknown civilians have fallen victim to cancel culture and the angry social media mob. The U.S. Army is one of the most respected institutions in the country, but it still risks outside pressures against commander decisions. This thesis seeks to identify whether or not cancel culture affects senior leader decision making, in an effort to identify its impact on the U.S. Army decision-making process. This study examines four different case studies, in which cancel culture pressured leaders to reverse decisions within their organizations. Through the use of symbolic interactionism theory, this thesis examines why some leaders gave credence to cancel culture protests while others ignored the same pressures. This qualitative study aims to identify the extent of cancel culture influence on the next generation of U.S. Army leaders.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Sociology and Law
- Administration and Management