|Keywords:||Tea Party; populism; discourse; identity; American; Social Sciences; Political Science; Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies); Samhällsvetenskap; Statsvetenskap; Statsvetenskap (exklusive studier av offentlig förvaltning och globaliseringsstudier); Political Science, Master Programme, 120 credits; Statsvetenskap, masterprogram, 120 hp; Statsvetenskap/ kunskap; Political Science|
|Full text PDF:||http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-53041|
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.