Date of Award

8-2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Anthropology

Major Professor

Faye V. Harrison

Committee Members

J. Michael Elam, Mark Hulsether

Abstract

Secrets in Common is an anthropological history that undertakes to explain the similarities of membership and ideology between the Freemasons and two formations of the Ku Klux Klan. The work is divided into seven sections. It was compiled from both extant, which was of principle significance, and secondary printed material. After many hours of reading and countless attempts at “understanding,” three short ethnographic narratives were compiled: they makeup the central axis of the material. The first narrative describes the Freemasons, while the second two are on the “Reconstruction Klan” and the “Klan of the ‘20’s,” henceforth referred to as Kuklux and Knights respectively. Circumstantial and anecdotal evidence allows the construction of an argument that supports the assertion that the intellectual foundations of the Freemasons were acted upon in Kuklux Dens and Knights’ Klaverns, and that in acting upon the Freemasons’ ideology both Klans became revitalization movements as defined by A.C. Wallace (1956).

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Anthropology Commons

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