Australian Counter Terrorism Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


SRI Security Research Institute, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia


Originally published in the Proceedings of the 3rd Australian Counter Terrorism Conference, Novotel Langley Hotel, Perth, Western Australia, 3rd-5th December, 2012


This paper presents the preliminary findings of research into the disengagement from highly entitative and ideological social groups, such as one percent motorcycle clubs, military special forces and fundamental ideological groups. Using a grounded theory approach, the discourse of 25 former members identified the discrepancy between group membership and the self-concept as the core theme in the disengagement experience. This model presents the process of experiencing a threat, self-concept discrepancy and management, physical disengagement and the post-exit identity. The findings indicate a consistent experience of disengagement and allow further understanding to the factors influencing membership appraisal.