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Tracing Radicalization to the Incel Movement and its Connection to Loneliness

Researchers at the Centre for Research on Security Practices were awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to conduct a knowledge synthesis projecct entitled Tracing radicalization to the incel movement and its connection to loneliness. This project explored and summarized literature linking digital interaction and loneliness to the involuntary celibate (incel) ideology. This project examines empirical research on the engagement, escalation/radicalization, and desistance from inceldom by asking:  

  1. Why do people initially become engaged with incel groups, and how does loneliness extending from the emerging asocial society influence engagement?  
  2. Once engaged, how does the incel ideology progress to extreme views and acts of violence/self-harm?  
  3. What is known about desistance from inceldom, and what practicable interventions are possible to address engagement, extremism, violence, and self-harm?   

Project Members:

Principal Investigator: James Popham, PhD

Co-Investigator: Samantha Henderson, PhD

Collaborators: Sarah Daly, PhD; Lucas Pokrywa, PhD Candidate

Research Assistant: Stacey Colliver, PhD Candidate

Contact Us:

Carrie Sanders, Director

Bree Akesson, Associate Director

Samantha Henderson, Project Coordinator

T: 519.756.8228 x5376