Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication Studies

Committee Member

Joseph P. Mazer, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Erin Ash

Committee Member

Andrew Pyle

Abstract

This thesis intended to analyze the nature of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election conversation on Twitter through the lens of Hillary Clinton supporters. The 2016 election was an unprecedented election in many ways. For social media, Twitter was used as a source of news, information, and as a communication tool for candidates and voters. This thesis examines the election conversation from November 7, 8, and 9 using Clinton campaign hashtags #ImWithHer and #ImStillWithHer. These hashtags provide insight into how Twitter users voted and why they chose to vote for Clinton. This thesis uses the basking in reflected glory (BIRG) and cutting off reflected failure (CORF) frameworks as a lens through which a thematic analysis is conducted to further understand the ways individuals associated or disassociated with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as major party presidential candidates. The findings showed evidence of the BIRG and CORF framework as well as a potential adaptation to the framework. The results showed a wide range of emotional responses and a deeper understanding of the 2016 Presidential Election through Twitter conversations.

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