Antifeminism in neoliberalism: the case of incel

Price, Henry S. (2021). Antifeminism in neoliberalism: the case of incel. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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In this thesis I am chiefly seeking to discover, via an examination of the Incel worldview, the justificatory logics of contemporary antifeminism. I am not attempting to explain that worldview, but rather to understand what animates it. Incel is facilitated by a combination of neoliberal ideas and institutional changes occurring under neoliberal regimes, which are then filtered through an antifeminist framing and culture which explicitly links male and masculinised sexual anxiety to an imagined feminist threat.

My account therefore refuses the common portrayal of Incel as an outlying or aberrant phenomenon, and the major findings of this thesis reflect my argument that what animates the Incel worldview is precisely its reproduction of, and opposition to, specific dimensions of neoliberalism. The fostering of violence towards women, ‘feminised’ society and ultimately the [Incel] self; the painful embrace of competition as a characteristic of all social behaviour; the Incel community’s self-identification as transgressive and emancipatory; and the claim that feminist thinking constitutes the dominant ideological power in contemporary society, are all a product in different ways of this entanglement.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Government and Society, Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: Other
Other Funders: University of Birmingham Departmental Scholarship
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman


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