Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Jack Jacobs

Subject Categories

Political Theory | Social Justice


Marxism, drag, RuPaul, hippies, United States, Black Panther Party, Civil Rights Movement, critical theory, communism, political theory


In this essay, I will define cultural institutionalization and articulate the ways in which the phenomenon modulates subversive countercultural movements and integrates them into Western, capitalist cultural structures. I will then illustrate my theory of cultural institutionalization by analyzing three historical case studies of subversive countercultural movements in the United States. The first of which will be the drag queen phenomenon, which provides the most convincing case for the theory in the artistic sphere. Secondly, I will address a more explicitly political movement, the black liberation movement and its various permutations: the civil rights movement, the black power movement and the Black Panther Party, and the recent Black Lives Matter movement. Finally, I will assess the applicability of this theory to the hippie counterculture, a favored movement of critical theorist Herbert Marcuse. I aim to analyze each of these movements in a dialectical manner, in such a way that respects the rich history of each movement and gives due consideration to the system in which they developed.

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