Advisor

Randy Blazak

Date of Award

Fall 10-10-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology

Department

Sociology

Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 102 pages)

Subjects

White supremacy movements, Mass media and race relations -- United States

DOI

10.15760/etd.2007

Abstract

The political climate in America continues to become more polarized each year. The "left" and "right" political parties are locked in near-constant struggle and it is often the people whom they are meant to serve that suffer the harshest effects of this struggle. This mainstream political posturing and hostile behavior has allowed for the continued presence, and some say resurgence, of racially motivated right-wing nationalist groups. Groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Aryan Nations and racist Skinheads have seen periods of strength and decline throughout American history. In the late 20th and early 21st Centuries they have begun to adapt their message to find acceptance in groups outside their own and plant the seeds of racial and ethnic bias and supremacy in minds not yet stricken with the illnesses of hate and bigotry.

This research examines the ideological framing of far-right White Supremacist groups in the United States. Discussion of political, nationalist and economic ideologies and the ways these ideologies are framed and presented to wider audiences are described.

Using content analysis, more than 50 editorials, articles and other writings from six of the most circulated newsletters produced by American based White Supremacist groups were examined. Thematic analysis and line-by-line coding allowed for the development of various codes related to nationalism, immigration, traditional supremacy and perceived political failure, as well as many others.

Findings suggest that many White Supremacist groups and individuals are shifting away from the biological or genetic supremacist beliefs of a previous era. Instead adopting a racially motivated nationalist identity and positioning themselves as being engaged in a struggle for "white civil rights." While still vehemently racist and racially/ethnically biased they seem to have taken up this new position in order to thinly veil their racism behind a guise of nationalist pride and altruism. This is especially troubling when one considers that many hate crimes are committed by individuals with no formal affiliation to organized hate groups. These individuals are often racially radicalized in a slow process that starts with mainstream political beliefs and slowly progresses to more radical beliefs as they struggle to understand the world in which they live.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/12744

Included in

Sociology Commons

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