Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is one of the most influential political organizations in Illinois. Like other political organizations, the CTU influences policy through activism, advocacy, and endorsements. Unlike most political organizations, however, the CTU's 20,000 members are responsible for carrying out policy decisions through their roles as teachers, paraprofessionals, and clinicians in Chicago Public Schools (CPS). In response to this influence, anti-unionists have become increasingly adept at criticizing the CTU, using anti-union rhetoric to malign unionized teachers. Simultaneously, anti-unionists have utilized anti-union litigation to disable teacher unions, stripping them of guaranteed protections. Assisted by conflict theory, this study examines rhetoric in support of and critical of the CTU through a discourse analysis of ten Twitter accounts central to Chicago's teacher union debate. Ultimately the author uses these accounts to explain how the CTU has maintained its political influence despite persistent anti-union rhetoric and litigation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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