The Donald’s Patriots: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Communal Development and Collective Identity in Trump’s Most Rabid Online Community
Aidan Michael Cotter
Despite the rise of extremism in the United States, little is known about how extremist communities manifest online. Thus, I investigate here how one particular online community, the now-banned Reddit page “The Donald”, expresses collective identity and thereby utilizes communal attributes in bringing users together. I examine a sample of posts and comments throughout 2020 on the Trumpian, white-nationalist online message board The Donald. Through a content analysis of randomly selected threads, I analyzed for communal themes and evaluated how The Donald’s users practice collective identity. I found that the site's users (self-identified as “Patriots”) share significant collective beliefs about race, gender, and political affiliation. From these shared beliefs, I was able to identify how the “Patriots” practice collective identity through means such as: othering; meming; and the deification of Donald Trump. I cite the statistical evaluation of the sample’s thematic composition, as well specific content from the qualitative analysis in identifying these communal factors & strategies. Overall, my study argues that The Donald is a definitive community whose members share common sociopolitical values and communal strategies in solidifying their extremist group.Keywords: community, collective identity, far-right extremism, internet socialization
Anya M. Galli Robertson, Laura M. Leming
Primary Advisor's Department
Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
"The Donald’s Patriots: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Communal Development and Collective Identity in Trump’s Most Rabid Online Community" (2021). Stander Symposium Projects. 2258.