Attention and White Nationalist Discourse

Getting and Focusing Attention in Far-Right Discursive Fields  (dissertation project)

My dissertation, co-chaired by Ann Mische and Omar Lizardo, is an examination of how white nationalist organizations (WNOs) in the U.S. South distribute their attention across grievances and other organizations between 1980 and 2008. I ask two main research questions. First, why do WNOs focus their attention on one set of grievances at the expense of others? I refer to this as grievance attention-focusing.

Picture2Second, why are some WNOs more likely to be taken as a point of reference by other organizations in their field? I refer to this as interorganizational attention-getting. Specifically, I look at how characteristics of the WNOs, the broader interorganizational field, their emotional displays, and the salience of the movement in the public sphere account for variation in both these processes at multiple levels of analysis.

A five-grievance representation of the white nationalist discursive field (as represented by my data) is available here, using the LDAvis tool by Carson Sievert and Kenneth E. Shirley.