The Perfect Storm: A Subcultural Analysis of the QAnon Movement

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Abstract

In this study, we examine the social phenomenon known as ‘QAnon’. While QAnon is typically thought of as an exclusively online cultural phenomenon, and thus easily dismissed, it has played a significant role in promoting physical acts of violence—including multiple murders and the attack on the United States Capital on 6 January 2021. Utilizing a qualitative analysis of 300 hours of QAnon-related content, we argue that the widespread beliefs held by QAnon supporters were only possible due to the confluence of feelings of distrust in government and other public officials, purveyors of QAnon that profited in the movement’s success, and a populist digital media environment in which extremist ideas are housed and promoted. We conclude by asking if this is a phenomenon created by greater connectivity, or if this is a byproduct of late-stage capitalism in which social relations continue to be atomized.

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Conner, C. T., & MacMurray, N. (2022). The Perfect Storm: A Subcultural Analysis of the QAnon Movement. Critical Sociology, 48(6), 1049–1071. https://doi.org/10.1177/08969205211055863

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