Rumor mongering: scapegoating techniques for social cohesion and coping among the Japanese-Americans in United States internment camps during World War II
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis examines the linkages between the verbal response to social stress, the ostracism of individuals from a social group, and the subsequent increased cohesion of the remaining members. To write the thesis, I utilized these printed references in the forms of scholarly research, journals, diaries, and interviews primarily from the Texas A&M Sterling Evans Library and the online journal resource JSTOR as well as a video documentary. Previous research into the genres of rumor, identity, and scapegoat accusations are explicated. Then, these approaches are applied to the rumors told by the Japanese-Americans who were removed from their homes and sent to internment camps in the United States during World War II. The internment camps were rife with scapegoat accusations between the internees whose once unified culture group was fissured along lines of loyalty to the United States or to Japan. These scapegoat accusations against fellow internees were an outlet for the stress exerted upon them by the American government that was not directly combatable. Even processes as complicated as changing social dynamics can be observed through the mechanisms of rumors and scapegoat accusations.
Biggs, Jenny Catherine (2008). Rumor mongering: scapegoating techniques for social cohesion and coping among the Japanese-Americans in United States internment camps during World War II. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from