Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Byrd, W. Carson
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Owen, David S.
Race; whiteness; guns; racial formation; racial contract; masculinity
Public discourse on the topic of gun ownership in the U.S. is polarized, with the debate framed as a binary between unquestioned gun rights versus a complete ban. Gun ownership can have grave consequences: guns are used to commit acts of violence and suicide. Interviews with white male gun owners explore the influence of white backlash, masculinity, and racial identity development in their decisions to own guns. This project explores the extent these reasons are related to race on the part of white males, starting with these two questions: How much does race play a factor in the action and thought related to guns? To what extent does a “white backlash” (King 1967) relate to gun ownership? Ultimately, the participants rarely expressed overt racialized sentiments or white backlash. However, themes emerged that align with current literature to suggest how gun ownership among white men operates as a “racial project” (Omi and Winant  2015) that reinforces white male hegemony.
Daugherty, Michael, "Gun ownership as an expression of whiteness and masculinity." (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 3503.