Series editor(s): Dr Donald Cunnigen and Dr Marino A Bruce
Subject Area: Sociology and Public Policy
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|Title:||The roots of Anti-Obama rhetoric|
|Volume:||16 Editor(s): Donald Cunnigen, Marino A. Bruce ISBN: 978-0-85724-167-2 eISBN: 978-0-85724-168-9|
|Citation:||Chip Berlet (2010), The roots of Anti-Obama rhetoric, in Donald Cunnigen, Marino A. Bruce (ed.) Race in the Age of Obama (Research in Race and Ethnic Relations, Volume 16), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.301-319|
|DOI:||10.1108/S0195-7449(2010)0000016015 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Article type:||Chapter Item|
Purpose – This study analyzes the rhetoric casting U.S. President Barack Obama in the role of betraying and undermining the nation because he seeks government policies supporting a social safety net, gay rights, abortion rights, and other progressive agendas.
Methodology/Approach – The analysis is based on sociological social movement theories, especially the interrelationship of ideology, frames, and narratives in understanding how activists take their ideas and turn them in to action. The power devaluation model of Rory McVeigh is applied to the construction of reality used by right-wing anti-Obama forces, especially those linked to the various Tea Party movements.
Findings – The most militant anti-Obama ideologues construct frames and narratives based on a dualistic worldview in which Obama and liberals in general are demonized and scapegoated for existing economic, social, and political problems.
Research limitations/implications – More scholarly research using statistical analysis of the views and demographics of Tea Party supporters is needed to provide a complete picture of this new social/political movement.
Practical implications – By showing that right-wing populists are basing their beliefs on a long history of similar frames and narratives, this study can help prompt a more constructive response by political opponents who wrongly demonize the Tea Party supporters and their allies as ignorant or crazy.
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