Intersections of Ideologies: Comparisons of the Ku Klux Klan, the Skinhead Movement, and White Mainstream America




Carr, Caitlyn L

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This thesis discusses the intersections of the dogma of the white supremacy movement and a particular subset of the mainstream United States. Specifically, it considers how the ideologies of the Ku Klux Klan and the Skinhead movement overlap with that of white, Christian America. The approach taken is anthropological; this thesis combines previously conducted studies of these far-right, pro-white groups with firsthand research of both the mainstream and white supremacist online media in order to more fully contextualize these groups in the culture in which they live. After analyzing the historical setting and context of these white supremacist groups in relation to white, Christian America, this thesis looks at several important and overarching themes. These include the dehumanization of the Black, female and “un-American” Other; the idea that whiteness is exclusively constructed to include only certain individuals; and masculinity as constructed in the same way: rather exclusively and violently. Additional themes include the management and shifting of guilt and blamelessness from the in-group, as well as the conceptualization of space as the control of more abstract constructs, such as religion and marriage. Through the combination of secondary and primary research, this thesis finds that the messages, mores, ideologies, and themes present in both the white supremacy movement and in the white mainstream come from the same fundamental place. It seeks to develop these connections as complex in nature. Historically, these connections have sometimes been much more overt; for instance, in some places, support for these groups or for racist ideology has been outwardly celebrated. However, the present connections between the Ku Klux Klan, the Skinhead movement, and white mainstream America are often more difficult to detect, though no less important. This thesis seeks to illuminate these connections, in the hopes of aiding those who seek to sever them completely.



White supremacy, Ku Klux Klan, Skinhead movement, Mainstream US, Whiteness, Masculinity