Project Title

From Social Media to KSU: The Language and Presence of the Far Right

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

Faculty Sponsor Name

Jeanne Bohannon

My research is on social media and therefore should not require an IRB.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

America is currently experiencing unprecedented levels of cultural and linguistic divisiveness along with a resurgence of white nationalism into mainstream culture. Despite this heated political climate, there is scant research on these groups and how they operate in the public sphere. The general consensus is that far right memes and discourse have come to dominate sites like 4chan and Reddit, but this assumption precludes the possibility that these individuals also exist on other platforms as well. The lack of academic research on the language, symbols, and images used by these groups and the way they communicate their messages to others needs to be addressed. This project is a discourse analysis of white supremacists and self-identified members of the alt-right movement across various social platforms, particularly on sites like Tumblr where far right nationalism is not expected to exist. I will also include a journalistic examination of the ways white nationalist messages are communicated on a more local scale in order to explore how these sentiments do not solely exist online but manifest in the physical world as well.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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From Social Media to KSU: The Language and Presence of the Far Right

America is currently experiencing unprecedented levels of cultural and linguistic divisiveness along with a resurgence of white nationalism into mainstream culture. Despite this heated political climate, there is scant research on these groups and how they operate in the public sphere. The general consensus is that far right memes and discourse have come to dominate sites like 4chan and Reddit, but this assumption precludes the possibility that these individuals also exist on other platforms as well. The lack of academic research on the language, symbols, and images used by these groups and the way they communicate their messages to others needs to be addressed. This project is a discourse analysis of white supremacists and self-identified members of the alt-right movement across various social platforms, particularly on sites like Tumblr where far right nationalism is not expected to exist. I will also include a journalistic examination of the ways white nationalist messages are communicated on a more local scale in order to explore how these sentiments do not solely exist online but manifest in the physical world as well.