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Standing up for The Everyday Americans: The discursive articulation of the true ‘American’ in the Tea Party movement
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis uses discourse theory on speeches made by four Tea Party elites: Glenn Beck, Ted

Cruz, Sarah Palin, and Rand Paul, to see how they construct an American identity. My

purpose is to show how the Tea party movement articulates the American identity by

exploring the way in which they use chains of equivalences to produce meaning to their

identity. My methodological tools rely on the framework developed by Ernesto Laclau and

Chantal Mouffe, and further refined though the work of Norman Fairclough and David

Howarth, where meaning is produced by articulating elements into nodal points that taken

together constitutes a discursive hegemony based on inclusion and exclusion in social

antagonisms, where the movement articulates who they are in relation to what they are not.

My results indicate that the Tea Party movement does not find a way to stabilize a cohesive

identity, instead their conception of the American identity exists within both a libertarian

notion of freedom and liberty as the absence of external force, while at the same time

articulating conservative social values such as God, family, and marriage; they also tow the

line of dogmatic individualism and populist collectivist notions of a people and a nation. This

shows how the Tea Party movement is an eclectic movement that bears similarity to historical

conservative movements in America that has often articulated philosophical impulses that are

conflicting and sometimes even incompatible with each other.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
Tea Party, populism, discourse, identity, American
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-53041OAI: diva2:933526
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
Political Science, Master Programme, 120 credits
Available from: 2016-06-16 Created: 2016-06-06 Last updated: 2016-06-16Bibliographically approved

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Nykvist, Olle
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