Weaponizing victimhood: Discourses of oppression and the maintenance of supremacy on the right

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

7 Scopus citations


This chapter analyzes a rhetoric of “weaponized victimhood” and its crucial role in uniting disparate factions of the contemporary American Right. Weaponized victimhood speaks to a felt sense of loss of power and esteem among social groups facing challenges to their traditionally privileged status positions. This expression of grievance takes on a hyperbolic form through assertions that groups such as whites, men, and Christians face great social oppression. These groups are portrayed as victims of such projected threats as a “War on Christmas” and “feminazi” activists. Such victimization narratives circulate across various types of conservative news and right-wing media-from Fox News to alt-right and men’s rights websites. A common rhetoric of victimization cultivates a shared affective sensibility among groups ranging from avowed white supremacists to anti-feminists to others reacting against a perceived challenge to their social power and standing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNews on the Right
Subtitle of host publicationStudying Conservative News Cultures
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780190913540
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Alt-right
  • Christianity
  • Conservatism
  • Conservative news
  • Masculinity
  • Men’s rights movement
  • Political identity
  • Privilege
  • Rhetorical analysis
  • White supremacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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