“We did not Send You There”: Media Representations of the War in Afghanistan and the Emergence and Practice of Cancel Culture in Post-Soviet Russia
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Cancel Culture Memory Studies Digital Memory Studies Media Theory New Media Media Memory Identity Digital Identity Discourse Discursive Practices

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Anikin, D., & Batishchev, R. (2024). “We did not Send You There”: Media Representations of the War in Afghanistan and the Emergence and Practice of Cancel Culture in Post-Soviet Russia. Galactica Media: Journal of Media Studies, 6(1), 172-187. https://doi.org/10.46539/gmd.v6i1.445


The article is devoted to the problem of transformation of historical memory in the context of digitalization. The aim of the article is to make a critical analysis of the “cancel culture” as one of the tools for the formation and transmission of historical identity in digital space and beyond. The new media space from where the phenomenon of cancel culture originated is chosen as the research field. The objective of the article is then to bring the conceptual subjects of memory studies and media theory closer together.

New media differ significantly from traditional media, and these differences determine the change in discursive rules and consequently imply a reorganization of the discursive space.  The vertical paternalistic structure of discourse gives way to a horizontal rhizomatic structure, while the rigid author-reader opposition breaks down. The change in discursive rules entails a change of discursive practices. The changes affect not only discursive but also social space, including the space of historical memory. The digitalization of the past entails new forms of memory existence. At the same time, some traditional functions, such as identity formation, are preserved.

New media becomes a platform for identity formation, providing opportunities for the construction and constant reassembly of identities. The article considers “cancel culture” as a marker of this reassembly. It is viewed both as a mode of manifestation and as a source of identity. The critical analysis highlights both the negative and positive characteristics of the phenomenon, explaining its paradoxicality and regularity in the new reality.

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