Date of Award

12-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Sherkat, Darren

Abstract

The Internet is a new tool for mobilization, communication, and articulation of social movement organizational framings of events and ideologies. The White Supremacist/Separatist Movement has had, and remains, a significant presence on the Internet. There are several hundred sites operating, representing almost every faction of the movement. Hyperlinks between sites allow the ideological resources (content of sites, online libraries, radio shows, etc.) offered by one group to be available to many groups, regardless of geography. Importantly, links are often asymmetrical and more prestigious sites have many "in" links. This movement has considerable diversity of beliefs, goals, tactics, and resources. Movements vary in the richness of symbolic resources available on their web sites. I operationalize "resource richness" as the amount and coverage of content on a website. Groups also exhibit a range of tactical orientations ranging from peaceful (education) to extremely violent (race war). Using network analysis, I investigate the structure of ties in the White Supremacist/Separatist Movement industry on the Internet. Through this method, analyses reveals patterns of sharing of ideological resources. I examine how ideological and tactical affinities structure the scope, density, and patterns of cybernetworks in the White Supremacist/Separatist Movement industry.

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