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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Donna J. Hess


This study involved the examination and analysis of Internet websites maintained by four hate groups and 16 militia groups located in South Dakota and the surrounding contiguous states. Websites were examined in order to gain a better understanding about these groups, their perspectives, and their stated agendas. The websites of militia groups were also compared and contrasted with those of hate groups. Information on the groups was gathered directly from the web pages maintained by these hate groups and militias. One of the research questions in this study asked if militia groups can be categorized as hate groups. This study identified the stated goals/purposes of the groups, important issues to the groups, analysis by the groups of important issues, and groups' strategies for dealing with what they perceive to be "the problem." On the basis of these four criteria, the hate groups and militias were compared and contrasted. In terms of stated goals/purposes, hate groups and militias were determined not to be similar to each other. The hate groups in this study focused on race and/or citizenship, while the militias concentrated on strict interpretation of the Constitution, fundamentalist religious beliefs, protection of and from the government, and/or personal freedoms.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Hate groups -- Middle West
Militia movements -- Middle West
Web sites -- Political aspects




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