Ava Y. 2023 | BASIS Independent Silicon Valley
- Project Title: Gru’s Minions: The Construction of Andrew Tate's Personality Cult
- Basis Independent Advisor: Jon Noble
It’s human nature to want to be a wheel in a cog, a part of something more significant than them, more otherworldly; hence, the allure of cults and more specifically, a personality cult. Defined as a followership that's based upon an “idealized and heroic image of a leader,” cults of personality have become more publicized and widespread in the 21st century–whether it’s through the hyperpolarization of our current political climate or the rise of social media. Throughout history, businessmen and politicians like Stalin and Mao were able to utilize personality cults to gain power and leverage, relying on their charisma and loyal fanbase to gain profit. To better understand what personality cults look like in modern times, I am conducting a content analysis on Andrew Tate, a rising businessman and influencer, and his cult of “high-value men.” The main question surrounding this research study is: what rhetorical and psychological strategies is Andrew Tate using to build his personality cult? This study will be conducted in the form of a content analysis and will be based on a unique algorithm that I combine from multiple previous thematic research studies. Over ten hours of interviews and debates given by Tate will be dissected, with his gestures and phrasing being taken into account. The aim of this content analysis will be to extract common themes of personality cult leaders so people can better recognize these cults in their everyday lives.