Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Heritage or Hate?: A Comparison of Neo-Confederate Groups in the U.S. South and Loyalist Groups in Northern Ireland

Dr Denise Donnelly.

Using statements published on the Internet and in political newsletters, this paper analyzes similarities and differences in the platforms of neo-Confederate groups in the U.S. South and loyalist extremist groups in Northern Ireland. Although the conflict in Northern Ireland is based on religion as well as race, groups in both countries express dissatisfaction with government measures to promote affirmative action, feel as though they have been cheated out of their birthright, and focus on a ‘glorious’ history or heritage. Both feel misrepresented and mistreated by mainstream media, and argue that they are not oppressors, but rather they are oppressed for trying to maintain their unique cultures and are the victims of ‘reverse discrimination.’ Neo-Confederates are less likely to be blatantly racist than loyalist extremists, but both groups use subtle racist rhetoric based upon pseudo-scientific findings to support their positions. Moreover, both emphasize racial/religious purity, advocate separatism, and justify the use of violence in certain situations. Implications of these findings for both research and policy are discussed.


Dr Denise Donnelly  (United States)
Associate Professor of Sociology
Department of Sociology
Georgia State University

Denise A. Donnelly, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA, USA. Her research interests include involuntary celibacy, violence against women, and comparisons of race relations in the U.S. and Northern Ireland.

  • Hate Groups
  • Racial Extremists
  • Racism

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)