In the American political system, certain groups have been consistently excluded. Women, people of color, those within the working class, and other marginalized identities have been ignored as viable candidates within the American government. This divide between who is accepted in the political sphere and who is not pushes one to ask what has led to such boundaries and constraints. This research focuses on the limitations placed specifically on women and how these constraints may restrict their entry into the political sphere. Specifically, this research unpacks the meaning of the term hegemony and how power and resistance play into the maintenance and deconstruction of oppressive hegemonic structures. Consequently, I argue that there are two kinds of resistive acts—covert and overt—that allow oppressed peoples to push against these structures. I then analyze over 30 of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tweets to understand how female politicians may partake in resistive work. Specifically, I divide her tweets into three counternarratives, “Back to the Future,” “Knock Down the House,” and “An Inconvenient Truth,” that each push against the oppressive hegemonic structure. This research provides a look into how some women can find success in changing the status quo within politics.


Bostdorff, Denise

Second Advisor

McBride, Lee


Communication Studies; Philosophy


Arts and Humanities


resistance, hegemony, power, rhetorical analysis, Twitter, counternarratives

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2020 Grace O'Leary