What Makes People Join Hate Groups?

Key Issues in the Article

The key issue in this news article by Jayson (2017) is to investigate factors that drive people to hate groups and other extremists’ organizations. The United States is the leading economy in the world, and it scores favorable on various life indicators.

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However, racial discrimination has remained one of the biggest socio-political problems to this day. The emergence of White Supremacists and other hate groups keen on asserting their superiority in the society over others has been an issue of concern. As is often said, people are not born hating others, but they practice it as they grow. Understanding the forces that drive people to join hate groups may help in solving this major socio-political problem in the American society.

Information Supporting the Point of View and Conclusion

The main point of view and the conclusion made in this news article is that the people who join hate group have deep personality issues other than diagnosable mental illnesses. Information is provided in this article to support the claim and the conclusion. The problem is caused by a deep feeling of lack of social acceptance. Jayson (2017) says, “It usually involves them finding no other socially acceptable and meaningful ways to fulfill important needs — the need for identity; the need for a feeling of effectiveness; the need for a feeling of connection” (para. 3). As such, they choose to join groups that can make them feel accepted.

Members of these groups often try to attract as many people as possible. Anyone recruited will be shown love and made to feel that they have power over those that they consider less deserving in the society. These hate groups create a sense of success in their minds. Jayson (2017) says, “Often, these people do not feel like they have succeeded or had a chance to succeed across normal channels of success in society” (para. 5). They, therefore, gain illusionary power by becoming bullies who can frustrate others. These psychological problems cannot be addressed through medication or using punitive measures. They require a deep understanding of their root cause, and a clear focus on how the causes can be addressed.

Background Information Relevant to the Point of View and Conclusion

According to Kite & Whitley (2016), the United States today is just as divided as it was during the Civil Rights Movement era of the 1960s even after having the first African American president. Scholars are now keen on trying to explain specific forces that drive people to join hate groups and extremists’ organizations. This problem is affecting a society at a time when unity is needed to fight both foreign and homegrown terror. Psychologists have outlined numerous reasons attributed to extremism in the society. They all agree that majority of these people have psychological problems making them feel less important in the society.

Jayson (2017) says, “If you don’t feel you have much influence and power in the world, you get a sense of power from being part of a community and especially a rather militant community” (para. 8). Such communities create a sense of power, especially when their acts cause frustration to a section of the society. They popularize a narrative that they are the best, just to make them feel they are in control. Some of them are victims of abusive families where they were made to feel that they are worthless. Jayson (2017) says, “They may come from families that are problematic or families where they’re exposed to this kind of extreme views of white superiority and nationalism” (para. 9). Others are victims of bullying at school or within the society. They look for means of gaining power even if that means hurting others.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Findings and Conclusion

The findings and conclusion made in this study has various strengths and weaknesses worth noting. The biggest strength of this news article is that it refers to scholarly studies. Instead of relying on expert opinion as a professional in this field, the author has used information from other studies to support the findings and conclusion. The fact that the author is a psychologist gives her the expert authority to make specific claims. However, the biggest weakness is that the author did not conduct primary research. Although the author talked with a number of former members of these hate groups, most information came from secondary sources.

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Ethical Concerns in the Research

In such a news report, it is important to take into consideration ethical concerns, especially when handling such emotive issues. The need to hide the identity of anyone mentioned in the report is critical. The author has quoted some people who explained their experiences as members of hate groups. It is clear that the researcher gave out the names of these people after getting permission from them. Otherwise, it is her responsibility to ensure that their identity is not revealed.

Research Methods Used

The researcher used qualitative method to analyze data collected from various sources. Phenomenology was used to explain events and activities involving White Supremacists and other hate groups. The use of phenomenology helps in getting a clear picture of events as they happened, and the weaknesses of the members of these groups based on their activities. It clearly points out how they are lacking self-esteem and an understanding of humanity.

Further Research on the Topic

The existence of hate group in the global society, and specifically in the United States, is a topic that needs further research. After a long period of racial segregation, genuine efforts have been made to ensure that the country is integrated. It is easier to achieve success as a country if the society is united. Time and energy that should be spent on socio-economic and political development is wasted on retrogressive practices that can only lead to destructive of the society. No one wins in an environment where hate is allowed to rule. It is the reason why it is necessary for psychologists and other scholars to find ways through which this problem can be solved.

Issues Relevant to Real-World Problems and Solutions

The issue discussed in this news article is relevant to the real-world problems faced by the Americans today. The existence of White Supremacists has led to the emergence of Black Lives Matter, a group that seeks to promote integration in the society. Black Supremacists, a more extreme group than Black Lives Matter, has also emerged to counter the narratives and activities of White Supremacists (Dyck, 2017).

Such extremisms cause polarization in the country along racial lives. It clouds the judgment of members of the society to an extent that they can support and protect homegrown terrorists as long as they are assured their target will be members of the other race. The groups also harbor criminals who camouflage as members of these groups to find it easy achieving their selfish goals.

Personal Position on the Ideas Presented

I believe in the idea that is presented in this news article. Hate is a vice that one learns as he or she grows up. It is a symptom of a deeply rooted weakness in one’s personality. It may be caused by one’s sense of inadequacy. Sometimes it is because of abuses that one has been subjected to from a tender age. I also agree with the view that some people learn about racial slurs from parents and close family members. The more they are subjected to such negativities, the more they become indoctrinated (Gerstenfeld, 2013). They feel that it is normal to hate and to feel superior to others.

Conclusion, Implications, and Consequences of the Article

Hate is dangerous because it clouds one’s judgment and ability to reason based on facts, compassion, and other positive attributes desired of a normal person. It is concluded in this study that personality issues are the leading reasons why join hate groups. Existence of groups such as White Supremacists and Black Supremacists in the society has devastating implications, especially in terms of security.

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The consequence of this article is that there is need to debate and find social ways of addressing this problem. We need to eliminate bullying in school because it may create extremism in the minds of the minors. We need to constantly remind friends and families of their worth in our lives and to the country to eliminate cases where they seek acceptance from hate groups.


Dyck, K. (2017). Reichsrock: The international web of White Power and Neo-Nazi hate music. New Brunswick, Canada: Rutgers University Press.

Gerstenfeld, B. (2013). Hate crimes: Causes, controls, and controversies. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.

Jayson, S. (2017). What makes people join hate groups. Web.

Kite, M., & Whitley, B. (2016). Psychology of prejudice and discrimination (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

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"What Makes People Join Hate Groups?" StudyCorgi, 27 Oct. 2020, studycorgi.com/what-makes-people-join-hate-groups/.

1. StudyCorgi. "What Makes People Join Hate Groups?" October 27, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/what-makes-people-join-hate-groups/.


StudyCorgi. "What Makes People Join Hate Groups?" October 27, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/what-makes-people-join-hate-groups/.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "What Makes People Join Hate Groups?" October 27, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/what-makes-people-join-hate-groups/.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'What Makes People Join Hate Groups'. 27 October.

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