Sarah Palin's Portrayals in New Media
Todd L. Belt
University of Hawaii at Hilo
April 13, 2011
Western Political Science Association 2011 Annual Meeting Paper
This paper analyzes the portrayals of former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin in “new media.” Since the 2008 election, Palin has remained a fixture in American politics in her capacity as a contributor to FOX News, a leader of the TEA Party movement, a regular on the lecture circuit, and as a best-selling author. Additionally, Palin has remained active in electoral politics through endorsements and fundraisers. In this study, coverage of Palin is compared across two “new media” platforms: YouTube videos and photographic commentary. Content is coded for relative masculine and negative portrayals of Palin’s personality as well as her attachment to “men’s” and “women’s” issues. The results are addressed by comparison to other political figures as well as “old media” content in the form of newspaper articles (for the study, total n = 249 across all media). Results are analyzed in light of the role of women in electoral politics, trends in mass media, and wider expectations for democratic discourse.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: Palin, Sarah Palin, Gender, New Media, 2008 Election, Women, Gender, Stereotypesworking papers series
Date posted: February 22, 2011 ; Last revised: April 21, 2011
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