What is enticing about the rhetoric of white supremacy? How does new media create an environment that allows its proliferation? These two connected questions are the core of my research. I will argue that new media provides an avenue for white supremacists to reach a larger audience than they otherwise would be able to, potentially disrupting mainstream information systems by bringing racism to the forefront of popular discourse. I also describe how white supremacists frame whiteness in a way that gives rise to a collective identity. This collective identity in turn creates community and encourages action. To begin, this paper follows recruitment strategies of KKK and the rhetoric of the Alt-Right. Next, I apply the phenomenon of new media to Gramsci’s theory of hegemony to describe the possible subversive nature of new media. I also draw from Kathleen Blee’s work with racist women to create a framework for understanding the construction of whiteness. Lastly, I analyze videos from three YouTube content creators associated with the white supremacist movement to demonstrate how they construct the collective identity of whiteness to be an appealing concept.


Matsuzawa, Setsuko


Sociology and Anthropology


White Supremacy, Hegemony, Collective Identity, Whiteness, New media, Social movements

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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