Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Kathleen Jenkins

Committee Members

Amy Quark

Ronald Rapoport


This study uses ethnographic methods to explore the relationship between collective identity, personal identity and activism in local Democratic clubs and county groups in Eastern Virginia. Drawing from interviews with activist group leaders and group members, participant observation at party events, and document analysis of party documents, I introduce the concepts of maximal reality and submaximal reality to help understand how individual and group practices reinforce collective identities that promote group activism. I argue that the emphasis of maximal realities through practices of silence and group activist rituals creates a dialectic of political participation that ensures Democratic identity is reinforced and group activism continues.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

HonorsCopyrightConsent.pdf (167 kB)
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