Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

Document Type



This dissertation is a study of Dorothy Day’s political ideas, her creation of the Catholic Worker movement, and her relationship with Distributism, the official socio-economic teaching of the Catholic Church. In order to fully understand Day’s views, it is necessary to review her intellectual development, and the foundational ideas and documents of Distributism. As is noted in the introduction, precious little scholarship has been done on Distributism, and few outside of Catholic academic circles are even aware of its existence. Beyond that, Day, herself, is not especially well-known, as existing scholarship tends to focus on either her early, Socialist activities and radicalism, or her later life at the Catholic Worker. Neither emphasis includes a sustained evaluation of her political and economic beliefs vis-à-vis Distributism. After review of her writings over the course of six decades of journalism and activism, it can be shown that Day’s Catholicism, her founding of the Catholic Worker, and her political vision centered around Distributism. This conclusion, alone, warrants a significant scholarly re-evaluation of Dorothy Day as a political thinker.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

James Stoner