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Local Tea Party group part of national study

Members of the Peninsula Patriots, a local Tea Party group, will be part of a national study by a Harvard University professor. Theda Skocpol, American sociologist and political scientist at Harvard, visited Gloucester earlier this week to conduct interviews with nearly a dozen Peninsula Patriots members.

The professor conducted the study that will be included in a series of papers and a book, looking at how groups of citizens organize for various purposes.

She was connected with the group through one of its members, Peter Stephens, who read one of Skocpol’s articles published in Politico magazine. Stephens said he disagreed with an item the professor had written about and had contacted her by e-mail about it. After e-mail discussions that went on for a few months, Skocpol asked Stephens if she could come to Gloucester to speak with members of his group.

Each of the meetings was confidential, Skocpol said, as is the practice of research scholars. "Most of the people ...

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