The National Alliance website and the socialization value of Internet texts

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Koch, Brian J.
Messner, Beth A.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Communication Studies
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This study employs an eclectic rhetorical-critical approach to examine the Website of the National Alliance, a prominent White-supremacist organization. This study is guided by research questions that ask what rhetorical strategies the National Alliance uses on its Website, and how these strategies might inform how politically-extreme Internet communities socialize new members into their belief systems. The critical analysis shows that the National Alliance desires its audience to become identified with the goals and program of the organization, redefine their notions of "responsibility" to only encompass the White race, and obsessively endeavor to build the foundation for a new White society. This study concludes by defining "socialization value," a proposed rhetorical-critical construct with special relevance to Internet texts. The National Alliance Website possesses a high socialization value, meaning that it is likely to assist the National Alliance in expanding the size of its Internet community.