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Hosting the Tea Party: Mobilization in a Conservative Bubble

Yates, Elizabeth (2014) Hosting the Tea Party: Mobilization in a Conservative Bubble. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The research presented here examines the role of social networks in Tea Party mobilization in central and southern Virginia. It shows how polarization and socio-political segregation contribute to the production of a “conservative bubble” in which the social networks that people inhabit are homogeneously conservative, and where opposing views are marginalized or less visible. However, my informants have not merely been passive figures in these large-scale social processes, but have been actively engaged in shaping their own lives and in doing so, the communities around them. This political homogeneity allows Tea Party participants to feel that their activism is supported by those around them, even by people who are not activists. This is manifest in Tea Party recruitment, in which local groups merely have to make their presence known in particular areas in order to attract dozens of new participants. This research speaks to the place of Tea Party mobilization in mainstream society by showing how it is both connected and yet distinct from mainstream social networks.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairBlee, Kathleen M.bleegrad@pitt.eduBLEEGRAD
Committee CoChairKutz-Flamenbaum, Rachelrflamenb@pitt.eduRFLAMENB
Committee MemberStaggenborg, Suzannesuzstagg@pitt.eduSUZSTAGG
Date: 22 May 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 16 April 2014
Approval Date: 22 May 2014
Submission Date: 18 April 2014
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 109
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social Movements, Conservatism, Conservatives, Tea Party, Social Networks, Political Sociology
Date Deposited: 22 May 2014 18:09
Last Modified: 22 May 2019 05:15


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