Cultural Models and White Supremacism

Cognitive Basis of Collective Action Framing in White Supremacist Music

CAPlotI use the case of white supremacist music as an opportunity to develop a field theory of collective action framing that emphasizes both the cognitive and relational dynamics of social movement discourse. Empirically speaking, I assess the extent to which theories of appeals to white victimization are relevant across scenarios in white supremacist discourse, and to examine under what conditions other framing strategies may be primed by white supremacist musical acts. More broadly, I draw on ideas from cognitive social science and cultural sociology to understand how collective action frames emerge through frame tensions—that is, through the relational confrontations between actors with divergent cultural models in discursive fields. I address these points using a combination of structural topic modeling and multidimensional scaling. The analysis is conducted using a sample of music lyric data from five musical acts that span across four white power music genres.

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