On the Tyranny of Individualism: MAGA Boy, Media and the Drum

Fabricating Authenticity - Jason W.M. Ellsworth

Matthew Sheedy [+-]
University of Bonn
Matt Sheedy holds a Ph.D. in the study of religion and is a visiting professor in the department of North American Studies at the University of Bonn, Germany. His research interests include critical social theory, theories of secularism and atheism, as well as representations of Christianity, Islam, and Native American traditions in popular and political culture. He is currently working on a book called Contesting the Secular: Religious Symbols, Identity Politics, and the Fragility of “Western” Values.


In this chapter, Sheedy’s explores the media portrayal of the 2019 Covington Catholic High School incident involving a Native American elder and MAGA student supporters to examine the tendency, especially in white, Euro-Western cultures, of centering the “individual” as the locus of meaning. Whether or not the initial narrative of the story was distorted, Sheedy argues that the asymmetries of power to create, shape, and control such narratives are contingent upon existing fields of knowledge, where certain symbols and language can rely on a degree of intelligibility among the general public, while others cannot.

Notify A Colleague


Sheedy, Matthew. On the Tyranny of Individualism: MAGA Boy, Media and the Drum. Fabricating Authenticity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Aug 2024. ISBN 9781800501454. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=40268. Date accessed: 21 Jul 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.40268. Aug 2024

Dublin Core Metadata