Bloch, Katrina Rebecca. ‘“It Is Just SICKENING”: Emotions and Discourse in an Anti-Immigrant Discussion Forum’. Sociological Focus, vol. 49, no. 4, Oct. 2016, pp. 257–270.
Following 9/11, organizations advocating for stricter immigration policy grew across the United States. This study examines the Web site and online discussion forum of Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee (ALIPAC), a group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as nativist extremist. While forum participants are geographically dispersed, social media provide them a space to interact with like-minded people. Results show that ALIPAC members provide shared accounts that construct positive moral identities. Forum participants promise positive emotions of pride and power for joining the group, despite the perception that outsiders perceive them as racists. Drawing from tenets of patriotism, participants construct virtual identities and reject the racist stigma by turning them on immigrants, civil rights organizations, and politicians. Participants claim their emotional responses are rational and morally superior to those of the perceived opposition. Failing to share their anger, sense of injustice, and disgust is framed as irrational.