What comes to your mind when you think about the Tea Part? Does the American Revolution come to your mind? Was that a social movement? Do any of the white Supremacist groups come to your mind like the KKK? Are these social movements? Does the Boston Tea Party come to your mind? Was that a social movement? Or does the word reform come to your mind, and if so is reforming or going backwards constitute a social movement? What is a social movement? What is a women’s movement? And what’s different for women in social movements? These are questions that are difficult to answer in more than provisional terms. One tends to speak of movements as actors in themselves–“the women’s movement,” “the peace movement,” “the environmental movement,” “the labor movement,” “the gay movement,” the civil rights movement” add your favorite here-giving them a unity of purpose and intention that they never really have. In my opinion social movements are not themselves actors; movements are something that people create to press for social change. They are spaces that are made by people to allow relationships between them that can challenge power. Definitions of social movements by sociologists abound. Sociological definitions of movements stress qualities like collective and innovative behavior, extra-institutionalism, their network character and multi centeredness, the shifting and fluid boundaries of movement membership, and the willingness of members to disrupt order a little or a lot (Sklar and Dublin). The Tea Party movement and in my opinion it is a movement, is an American political movement that advocates strict adherence to the United States Constitution, reducing U.S. government spending and taxes, and reduction of the U.S. national debt and federal budget deficit. The movement is generally considered to be partly conservative, partly libertarian, and partly populist. The movement has sponsored protests and supported political candidates since 2009, (New York Times). The theme of the Boston Tea Party, an iconic event in American history, has long been used by anti-tax protesters. It was part of Tax Day protests held throughout the 1990s and even earlier. By 2001, a custom had developed among some conservative activists of mailing tea bags to legislators and other officials as an act of symbolism, (CNN). The Tea Party agenda is not well defined, though it is anti-government, anti-spending, anti-immigration and anti-compromise politics, which brings me to the video. In this case the Tea Part is, and has developed a social movement through others to bring about change in the political arena. In my opinion what makes the Tea Part a social movement is it has the basic principles of a social movement like persuading different organization, companies and or individuals to come together and develop a group of people for there to be a movement. It also was or still is at some point a un- institutionalized and or outside the mainstream. The Tea Party in my opinion encounters all the points that we have went over in are readings and in class lecture’s. They are cause-oriented collectivities and they do exist primarily to promote their ideology, which I mentioned at the beginning. I also believe Industrialization and urbanization, technological advancements, and ongoing democratization allowed people to push for change collectively from the margins of the polity, from outside of less-than-open institutions. The video initiates with a poster that reads “Obama’s plan – white slavery”. This poster makes it clear that this video is not meant for everyone; in fact, it’s really clear that the video is intended to gear up hate, and is intended to motivate older white people to turn or vote against President Obama on whatever plans he might have on moving our country forward. The video is mutually revealing informative, while at the same time this video is using pathos to lure out terror, and fear from the spectator. This is unmistakable in the inaccurate video attendance. As you look at the video and when you relate this to Burke’s pentad, there is no doubts to me there are significant ratio of “Act-Agency” and also “Act –Purpose” Looking at the Act-Agency we see that it has all the substances of Burk’s pentad “What happened”? “What is the action”? “What is going on”? “What action”; “What thoughts”? And then when we look at the “Act-Purpose” once again it has all the substances of “Burk’s pentad “Why do the agents act? “What do they want”? It is clear that the Act is used to persuade white, and I believe its older white men and those older white women whose husbands may have lost their jobs during the recession we have been in over the past eight years, and this is who the Tea-Party are trying to persuade in this video. It’s certain that the Tea-Party has been revealed on all major newscast channels, and Tea-Party videos have been propagated all over the internet, there is no qualm that the Tea-Party exploits mass media to reach the audience they are trying to persuade. This video is full of hate and fear; it shows a picture of President Obama dress up and made to look like Hitler, and states. “The new Hitler”, then it goes on to show a poster that reads “Homey don’t play that” targeting after a black slur. This is meant to convince the audience “Older white males” that President Obama is after them, and all their stuff. And then they drive nail all the way into the coffin when the ad shows a poster that reads “Speak for yourself Obama we are a Christian-Nation” aiming at the fact the President Obama middle name is Hussein, and implying that President Obama is not an American, and he is not a Christian, in fact; that he’s a Muslim. In my opinion this is a very persuasive approach, it fact it could induce viewers to take even more, and I mean much more action to join the Tea-Party and or to get more convoluted. Burk said “If action, then drama; if drama, then conflict; if conflict, then victimage”. Based upon this I believe this video reached its goal. The video ends with a poster reading “Impeach the Kenyan”, “I want American back” and “God bless Glenn Beck” It is clear that this video is specifically gearing up the group to become more revolutionary, an much more anger, then contrasting to being temperate with their approach. In my conclusion this video uses robust wording for calling the viewers to take action, for change to happen. Not only does it call for change, it also calls for the intended audience to get in involved before it’s too late! This video is very persuasive particularly to those who believe they are being ignored.
Donald E. Archey
Sources: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S38VioxnBaI YouTube
Burke’s Pentad (Dramatism)
A Sociological Perspective