Research Mentor(s): Michael Heaney, Research Fellow
Research Mentor School/College/Department: University of Glasgow,
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 6 (4pm-4:50pm)
Breakout Room: Room 5
Many Americans have relied on biased or incomplete news coverage to conclude that grassroots protestors are a monolithic group all motivated by the same ideals. Meanwhile, there has been very little formal research conducted to accurately determine the political and social motivations of grassroots protestors during Donald Trump’s Presidency. This research project conducts, codes, and analyzes surveys filled out by participants from several grassroots protests between 2017 and 2020. Its goal is to get a better understanding of the sentiments of individual grassroots protestors. Through close analysis of completed surveys, the project team has determined that the motivations of grassroots protestors are both varied and complex. Although most grassroots protestors identified themselves as either Democrats or Republicans when asked about their political affiliation, their responses to more specific questions about social identity, values, and interests proved that grassroots protests feature diversity of both identity and thought. This research project serves to challenge common knowledge about grassroots protests that has been skewed by political bias in the United States. It will also assist future researchers studying and further analyzing why individuals felt called to participate in grassroots protests during the Presidency of Donald Trump.