by Rodrigo L. Canalli
Rodrigo L. Canalli FROM DAZIBAO TO TWITTER: THE POLITICAL FUNCTION OF SHAMING SUMMER & FALL 2022 Int’l J. L. Ethics Tech. 2 (2022).
Available at: https://doi.org/10.55574/QGSJ9827
Author Information: Rodrigo L. Canalli, New York University School of Law
Abstract: The paper explores shaming as a central feature of public humiliation rituals across history: in every relatively complex human society, some form of shaming performs a role in social cohesion. One of the most recent iterations of a social shaming ritual is the phenomenon that has been labelled “cancel culture”, characterized by an emphasis in shaming as a means of social and political action. This paper identifies and addresses similarities between the use of big-character posters (dazibao) in China during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and the “cancel culture” of contemporary social media environments. By advancing the understanding of the role of shame and shaming in different cultural and historical contexts – acknowledging that we are a gossip species – it is intended as a contribution for the comprehension of law as a toolbox for the mediation of human relations, as well as of its potentials and limitations.
Keywords: Dazibao, Cultural Revolution, Cancel Culture, Social Media, Public Sphere
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