Lone Actor Terrorists: The Performance of Hegemonic Masculinity Through Acts of Violence [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Thesis Abstract: "As the United States faces the threat of lone actor terrorism, researchers have struggled to reach a consensus on how to profile these actors and fully understand causation and motivation. The media frequently report attackers' histories of gender-based violence; however, there is a lack of gendered analysis of lone actor terrorism. This thesis explores the role of gender-based violence and hegemonic masculinity in the radicalization and attacks carried out in the United States by post-9/11 lone actor terrorists. It finds that a majority of the attackers experienced stressors related to the performance of hegemonic masculinity, a culturally constructed set of norms that values dominance and accomplishment in terms of wealth, heterosexual romantic partners, and control. This thesis explores these stressors as identity threats in the context of social identity theory. In the absence of group dynamics, it connects referent informational influence to social identity theory concepts and radicalization models for lone actor terrorists. This thesis presents a thematic diagram that coalesces social identity theory with lone actor terrorism, radicalization, and studies of hegemonic masculinity. Furthermore, this thesis finds that collecting data on gender-based violence will be critical to understanding lone actor terrorism and violence prevention strategies."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/