The Alt-Right

In our second month discussing the alt-right, we have additional contributors.

Donald Trump’s recent rise to power has put a spotlight on what has come to be known as the “alt-right.”  Yet the alt-right proceeded the Trump campaign and has, perhaps, contributed to Trump’s victory and also benefited from its close ties with the White House.  This dialogue invites social scientists to comment on its causes, consequences, and its likely trajectory.  What can social movement scholars learn from this movement?  What has contributed to its successes?  What limitations to future growth does it face (if any)?  What type of people are most likely to be attracted to the alt-right, and why?  How can this movement be resisted?  How severe is the threat posed by the movement?  How should progressives respond to the way in which the alt-right prompts debate and contention over the line between hate speech and free speech?

Many thanks to our wonderful group of contributors.

Abby Ferber, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (essay)
David Cunningham, Washington University in St. Louis (essay)
Kim Ebert, North Carolina State University (essay)

Editors in Chief,
Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh, Guillermo Trejo

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Application Deadline for Young Scholars Conference, January 20!

Event hosted by the Center for the Study of Social Movements, University of Notre Dame April 13, 2018.

In conjunction with the presentation of the John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship in Social Movements, The Center for the Study of Social Movements at Notre Dame will be hosting the ninth annual “Young Scholars” Conference on April 13. The recipient of the McCarthy Award, Aldon Morris, will be in attendance and other senior scholars visiting Notre Dame for the award presentation will serve as discussants for the conference.
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2018 McCarthy Award Winner!

The Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University of Notre Dame is very pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship of Social Movements and Collective Behavior is Aldon Morris of Northwestern University. The award not only recognizes Aldon’s extraordinary achievements in research, but also the role that he has played in mentoring successive generations of scholars. Continue reading

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The Alt-Right

Donald Trump’s recent rise to power has put a spotlight on what has come to be known as the “alt-right.”  Yet the alt-right proceeded the Trump campaign and has, perhaps, contributed to Trump’s victory and also benefited from its close ties with the White House.  This dialogue invites social scientists to comment on its causes, consequences, and its likely trajectory.  What can social movement scholars learn from this movement?  What has contributed to its successes?  What limitations to future growth does it face (if any)?  What type of people are most likely to be attracted to the alt-right, and why?  How can this movement be resisted?  How severe is the threat posed by the movement?  How should progressives respond to the way in which the alt-right prompts debate and contention over the line between hate speech and free speech?

Many thanks to our wonderful group of contributors.

Hajar Yazdiha, University of Southern California-Dornsife (essay)
Robert Futrell & Pete Simi, University of Nevada-Las Vegas & Chapman University (essay)
Nella Van Dyke, University of California-Merced (essay)
Ziad Munson, Lehigh University (video)

Editors in Chief,
Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh, Guillermo Trejo

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White Supremacists go to College: New Tactics, Same Old White Supremacy

By Abby Ferber

The landscape of organized white supremacy has dramatically changed since I conducted my research for White Man Falling: Race, Gender and White Supremacy in the 1990s. At that time, most organized white supremacist groups were isolated, disconnected, disorganized, and difficult to follow. They seemed to be easily identifiable as “extremist.” Since that time, the broad contours of White supremacist ideology appears to be the only thing unchanged. Continue reading

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A Long View on the Alt-Right’s Doomed Emergence From the Shadows

By David Cunningham

August’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, where more than a thousand white nationalist adherents conducted a torch-lit march chanting “white lives matter” and “Jews will not replace us” before provoking widespread street violence the following day, was viewed widely as a watershed moment for the burgeoning Alt-Right. As the “largest hate gathering of its kind in decades in the United States,” the Charlottesville rally demonstrated that the diffuse movement – whose vibrancy had been most prominently displayed online – could mobilize in large numbers in physical space. It also showcased a level of organization that seemed far from ad hoc, and a set of media-ready male leaders who sought to embody the modern white supremacist brand: clean-cut, neatly dressed, with coifed “fashy” haircuts. Continue reading

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Why the reduction of racial disparities and expansion of Black mobilization would incapacitate the alt-right

By Kim Ebert

Many of us were introduced to empirical research on racism through popular psychology, which suggests that racism is an individual-level problem among whites. The idea is that racism stems from prejudice, which is “an antipathy based on a faulty and inflexible generalization,” meaning that it’s negative and hostile, irrational, rigid, and inaccurate. According to this perspective, prejudice may be “felt or expressed;” it can involve both the intent to discriminate and actual discrimination. To “cure” white racism and to solve this prejudice problem, then, we should endorse more education, training, and diversity initiatives. Such initiatives would expose individuals to accurate and scientific information, replacing antagonistic and inaccurate information with harmony and truth, resulting in the reduction of prejudice. Policy initiatives that take this approach may address interracial conflict, but what about the underlying racial inequality? Continue reading

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Informing Activists: How can activists avoid burnout?

Hava Gordon

How can activists avoid burnout?

Recommended Readings

Gordon, Hava Rachel. 2009. We Fight to Win: Inequality and the Politics of Youth Activism. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press

Klandermans, Bert. 1997. The Social Psychology of Protest. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.

See also: Sharon Erickson Nepstad’s video on the same topic

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