Date of Award
Populism -- United States, Tea Party movement, Occupy movement, Protest movements -- United States
The rise of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements has led to numerous debates on the true affect that these movements have on American politics, where they came from, what their future looks like, and what kind of movements the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements are. I will provide perspective on these debates by using a framework that has not yet been applied to a comparison of the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements. First, I will examine both of these movements through a political lens to determine the most appropriate classification for each of these movements. Then I will view both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements through an historical lens in order to demonstrate how previous American movements have influenced these two contemporary movements. The first chapter of this thesis answers the question "What is populism?" by providing a general profile of populism and what populism looks like within a democracy and why the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements should be considered populist movements. Then, in the second chapter, I will describe the seven different types of populism and which types fit the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements the best. Finally, in the third chapter, I will identify and explain previous American populist movements that are a part of the lineage of both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements. My conclusion will then discuss the future impact of these movements on politics, specifically the 2012 elections, based on the analysis within this thesis.
Stanley, Stephanie, "The Tea Party and Occupy Movements: Populism and Protest" (2012). University Honors Theses. Paper 2.