White Supremacy in Pennsylvania’s 21st Century: White Supremacist Hate Groups and the Rising Concentration of the White Population and Its Working Class in Pennsylvania

Authors: Lauren Hile*,
Topics: Political Geography, Cultural Geography, United States
Keywords: political geography, identity, hate groups, white supremacy, working class, white working class, visibility
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Over the past three decades, the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented the increase in white supremacist hate groups in the United States. While some scholars believe that the existence of these groups today stem from historical or social factors, others conclude that they exist in certain areas to make whites bodies even more visible in an already white majority place. Although these contested theories provide well-documented research on hate groups in United States overall, there are no theories as to their existence and growth specifically in Pennsylvania in the past three decades, a state that has seen a large increase in these groups from 1990 to 2017. This paper looks at towns in Pennsylvania that have an established white supremacist hate group in 2010 using data collected from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Historic Geographic Information System. This paper concludes that there was an increase from 1990 to 2010 in the concentration of the white population and of the white working class in one half of the towns in Pennsylvania that have an established white supremacist hate group. The research also shows an increase in the concentration of the white population in all of the towns surveyed from 1990 to 2010. As the white working class in Pennsylvania, and in the United States, will not disappear any time soon, it is important to see that an increase in the concentration of this population may lead to an increase in white supremacist hate groups across the nation.

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