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Soldiers of a pale god : masculinities and religiosity among members of the Christian Identity and Creativity movements Hodge, Edwin Glen


How white supremacists and other race-based extremist groups conceive of themselves is inextricably bound up with conceptions of masculinity – what it means to be a man within the movement. Masculine self-identification informs not only the shape of in-group association between members, but also how those members’ identities are constructed in opposition to the external Other. In the case of religious-based white supremacy movements, considerations of masculine identity are interlocked with religious identification. The primary argument of this paper is that intersections of gender and faith form a complex matrix of interlocking beliefs that provide the bedrock of social and political activity within those white supremacist communities that emphasise religion. This paper examines the beliefs of both Christian Identity and the Creativity Movement, focussing specifically on the configurations of masculinity within these movements. Through qualitative and discourse analysis, the rhetoric and philosophies of the two groups are interrogated and the importance of religious belief to conceptualizing and performing gendered behaviour is examined. The research conducted indicates that in communities with strong religious identities such as the Identity movement, masculinity becomes inextricably linked to religious practice. In organizations with weaker religious frameworks such as the Creativity movement, patterns of ‘acceptable’ masculinity become less rigid in practice and more reliant upon pre-existing social and political ideologies.

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