Hey, That’s Me! Social Identity and Group-Implicating Rhetoric in a Dynamic Framing Environment
45 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2011 Last revised: 8 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 4, 2012
While individual evaluations of and identification with social groups have been shown to influence political opinions, this effect is often treated as constant. Little work has examined dynamic relationships between issues, identity, and opinion as a function of changes in the political context. Elite rhetoric changes over time; in response to these changes, the weight that group evaluations and identification has on issue opinion should also vary. To test this argument, I use a content analysis of abortion rhetoric in combination with survey data from the ANES. Results suggest that messages confirming or threatening values or beliefs tied to one’s religious in-group affect support for legalized abortion among Catholic and Mainline Protestants, but not Evangelicals. Additionally, individuals’ strength of religious identification acts as a moderating factor for framing, more consistent framing effects are observed among both the weakest and strongest identifiers, but not among moderate identifiers.
Keywords: Framing, Group Implication, Religiosity
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