Differentiating Role of Race in the Processes of Collective Identity Construction: Black Lives Matter

Master's Thesis


This research explores the role of racial identification in the processes of collective identity construction among Black Lives Matter activists. Drawing on the literature on collective identity and boundary activation processes, I have done a content analysis on a sample of 30 opinion articles written by BLM activists and authors with concern about racial justice issues. While both black and white activists tend to activate racial boundaries, the emphasis on race and blackness is more common among black authors. On the other hand, white activists tend to differentiate between themselves and other whites, who are not aware of their privileges, by activating emphasizing on “wokeness,” awareness, and critical thinking. White allies might activate wokeness boundaries in order to justify their presence and participation in a black movement.


Attribute NameValues
Author Mojtaba Kashani
Contributor Ann Mische, Research Director
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Global Affairs
Degree Name Master of Global Affairs
Banner Code
  • MGA

Submission Date 2019-04-08
  • Race and Racial Identification

  • Social Movement

  • Black Lives Matter

  • Collective Identity

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units
Catalog Record


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