How and why ideologies are shared and learned

Knott, Kim and Lee, Ben (2020) How and why ideologies are shared and learned. Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats, Lancaster.

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All people, young and old, are involved in the process of learning and passing on ideas, beliefs, and practices that are important to them. This is how they express their identities and commitments and sustain their worldviews or ideologies. What we refer to in this guide as ‘ideological transmission and learning’ is a normal social and cultural process involving parents and children, peer groups, religious and political organisations, online networks, and face-to-face interactions. It takes place in extremist cells, networks and movements, no less than in mainstream settings. This guide, therefore, focusses on ideological transmission and learning rather than on radicalisation, and aims to:  show how the acquisition of extremist ideas is related to broader social and cultural processes  move away from the content of extremist ideology (what is shared) to how it is expressed and lived  reconnect ideas and beliefs with violent behaviour by refocusing on the practice of ideology. It looks at why individuals and groups learn and share ideas, beliefs and practices, and how they go about it. It then presents a framework for analysing how ideologies are learned and shared, providing a case study of the extreme-right web forum Fascist Forge.

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11 Dec 2020 15:37
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 04:11