This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Personal Anguish or Public Spectacle?: Understanding Involuntary Celibacy as A Deviant Identity




Currier, Keenon

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work


Academic research into involuntary celibacy has increased in the past decade, and many studies have succeeded at describing the behaviors which make involuntary celibate people (Incels) infamous online without promoting further application of social theory. This thesis attempts to enrich current understanding of involuntary celibacy as an internet subculture by theorizing as to the function of those behaviors which are considered deviant. Through the application of the exhibitional model of online dramaturgy, tweets produced by Incels were analyzed for evidence supportive of the argument that Incels exhibit both anomic and disciplined protest masculinities. This thesis ends with a discussion of the data produced by the content analysis and recommendations for further research.