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Review 1 of "Hate Exhaustion, Emotional Support, and Desistance from White Supremacist Groups"

...Qualitative...Criminology

Published onMar 31, 2021
Review 1 of "Hate Exhaustion, Emotional Support, and Desistance from White Supremacist Groups"

Vote: Publish pending minor changes


[For votes to count, referees must reasonably explain why they voted as they did. Thus, please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

Overall, the current manuscript is both very well written and addresses an area that the literature on the white power movement remains understudied, but also difficult to study systematically. While it thoroughly enjoyed reading the manuscript there are a few things that need to be addressed to make it a more poignant study.

The first concern deals with some framing and definitional issues. In defining WST, does this rule out actions by “lone actors” or are they capable of engaging in WST. As it is currently defined, being “perpetrated by groups” would exclude those individuals. Similarly, when discussing WS terror groups it would be beneficial if a more explicit definition can be employed so the reader is able to which groups fit and don’t. While “emotional support” gets mentioned, again there is no explicit definition for the reader to know exactly what fits and does not fit. In table 1, SES is used as a descriptive variable but there is no discussion of how it is being measured exactly. Is there a threshold for which bin respondents are placed, is the measure the respondent’s opinion, because that would be a very inaccurate measure. More explanation needs to be done. Similarly, in Table 3 it would be good to include either to only include the groups that respondents were part of, if including more groups then it would be beneficial to include cites to studies that are placing WST groups into the particular typologies.

Second, it would be of great benefit to engage with gang desistance literature, which has touched on many of the issues (“push and pull factors”) raised for that last decade.  Also, the work of Kruglanski et al. (2019). See below

Carson, D. C., Vecchio, M. J., Decker, S. H., & Pyrooz, D. C. (2015). Leaving the Gang. Wiley Blackwell,Wiley Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118726822.ch14

Densley, J. A., & Pyrooz, D. C. (2019). A Signaling Perspective on Disengagement from Gangs. Justice Quarterly36(1), 268–283.

Moule, R. K., Decker, S. H., & Pyrooz, D. C. (2012). Social Capital, the Life-Course, and Gangs (C. L. Gibson & M. D. Krohn, Eds.; pp. 143–158).

Pyrooz, D. C., Decker, S. H., & Webb, V. J. (2010). The Ties That Bind: Desistance From Gangs. Crime & Delinquency60(4), 491–516

Pyrooz, D. C., & Decker, S. H. (2011). Motives and methods for leaving the gang: Understanding the process of gang desistance. Journal of Criminal Justice39(2011), 417–425

Reid, S. E., & Valasik, M. (2020). Alt-Right Gangs: A Hazy Shade of White. University of California Press.

Roman, C. G., Decker, S. H., & Pyrooz, D. C. (2017). Leveraging the pushes and pulls of gang disengagement to improve gang intervention: findings from three multi-site studies and a review of relevant gang programs40(3), 316–336.

Roman, C. G., Cahill, M., & Mayes, L. R. (2021). Changes in Personal Social Networks across Individuals Leaving Their Street Gang: Just What Are Youth Leaving Behind? Social Sciences10(2), 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10020039

Kruglanski, A. W., Bélanger, J. J., & Gunaratna, R. (2019). The three pillars of radicalization: Needs, narratives, and networks. Oxford University Press, USA.

Relatedly, it seems amiss to not discuss the life-course criminology literature which connects with “turning point” notion. Sampson and Laub (2003) is a great starting point.

Sampson, R. J., & Laub, J. H. (2003). LIFE-COURSE DESISTERS? TRAJECTORIES OF CRIME AMONG DELINQUENT BOYS FOLLOWED TO AGE 7041(3), 555–592.

Lastly, there are a few minor typos throughout. 

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