ABSTRACT

Alt-Right Influence on the Radicalization of Whitenationalists in the United States, According Tosignificance Quest Theory   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the Thesis Abstract: "Reaching national notoriety in the 2016 election season, the Alt-Right embodied the most recent resurgence of white nationalism in the United States. Though it lost momentum with the 2017 'Unite the Right' rally, the Alt-Right's persistence in reaching broad audiences continued online with the adoption of uncensored media platforms like 8chan. The juxtaposition between white-nationalist violence conducted before and after the Alt-Right's national appearance highlights the Alt-Right's ability to attract relatively affluent young white Americans by leveraging fringe media sites to galvanize old white-nationalist ideologies given changing political environments. Where Dylann Roof, a high school dropout, had access only to passive white-nationalist websites that spouted hateful ideologies, John Earnest and Patrick Crusius, both college students, actively participated in uncensored social media platforms on which users motivated each other to commit violence through heated hateful rhetoric and the celebration of attacks on non-whites. In line with Significance Quest Theory--which emphasizes the role of motivation, terrorism-justifying ideologies, and social networks in the radicalization process--the Alt-Right successfully spun violence-justifying white-nationalist ideologies within online social networks to reach disenchanted young white Americans, including those whose futures seemed promising, which culminated in a string of violent attacks in the summer of 2019."

Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2020-06
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
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