Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

August 2016

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Dan Mulcare

Abstract

Two significant social movements, Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party have entered onto the political scene within the last decade, both having significantly different impacts upon the political discourse and political establishment within the United States. The question remains, however, which elements of each movement is ascribed to its corresponding success or failure? Three social movement theories: Resource Mobilization Theory, Political Process Theory, and Collective Identity Theory, better help explain the results of these movements. While none of the individual theories fully explores all the necessary elements required to explain the results of these movements, and each aids the other in exploring both movements more fully, Resource Mobilization Theory best explains each movement’s progress, with a proper focus being placed upon the resources at the disposable of Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party. Each theory’s effectiveness in explaining both social movements will be measured, on a 3 scale basis, in regards to both group formation and political efficacy.

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