A Woman’s Place Is in Populism? Female Leadership in the Rise of Right-Wing Populist Movements

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Date

2018-01-25

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Rogerson, Kenneth S
Bennett, Philip

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Abstract

This research project focuses on the identity formation of female leaders within the patriarchal ideology of right-wing populism. Case studies of Laura Ingraham and Michele Bachmann attempt to explain the emergence of female leaders within a male-dominated ideology. This research may help us better understand the role of women in the rise of right-wing populism and the distinct voices women bring to the movement. The project focuses on debate performances and podcasts produced by the subjects, as well as comparative analysis with Sarah Palin, one of the first female leaders of the right-wing resurgence. The research finds that these leaders purposefully construct an identity tailored to the expectations of their followers, employing a combination of both characteristically masculine, aggressive language and feminine, motherly characteristics. This identity formation allows them to amass followings even within an ideology that discourages female leadership.

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Kaul, Anna (2018). A Woman’s Place Is in Populism? Female Leadership in the Rise of Right-Wing Populist Movements. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16017.


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