Fractured in-group identity (re)negotiation in an online white nationalist forum

Amy Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the construction and (re)negotiation of the identity boundaries in the context of a white nationalist online forum. Using over three million words of data, a corpus linguistic approach is combined with elements of critical discourse analysis, namely social actor (van Leeuwen, 1996) and transitivity (Halliday and Matthiessen, 2004) analyses, to examine the positioning of social actors in relation to one another. The data shows that, despite an assumption amongst some scholars of a united and ideologically coherent in-group of extremists, forum members often disagree on the nature and boundaries of both their racial (white) and ideological (white nationalist) identities. This calls into question the value of the 'in-group' concept as we currently understand it. Instead, the 'in-group' in the far-right context should be seen as slippery and unfixed, comprising multiple overlapping but distinct identities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100062
JournalApplied Corpus Linguistics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial
interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence
the work reported in this paper.


  • white nationalism
  • white supremacy
  • far-right
  • critical discourse analysis
  • identity
  • social actors
  • transitivity


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