This study is a quantitative content analysis of the Facebook and Twitter communication of the Obama and Romney campaigns on seven dates within the 30 days prior to the 2012 presidential election. Specific rhetorical techniques are explored for similarities or differences in how these techniques have appeared in political communication in legacy media and how they are expressed in social media. Repetition, collective language, self-reference language and Benoit's functions of attack, acclaim and defend are examined. Additionally, the study identified what topics each candidate emphasized in their social media communication.
Findings show that both candidates used repetition to reinforce key messages. The use of attacks, acclaims and defenses bore some similarities to uses in legacy media. However, the primary focuses by both candidates centered on motivating citizens to show support for the candidate and get out the vote. Few policy issues appeared in the communication of either candidate.
|Advisor:||Davis, Donna Z.|
|Commitee:||Matthews, Kelli, Sheehan, Kim|
|School:||University of Oregon|
|Department:||School of Journalism and Communication|
|School Location:||United States -- Oregon|
|Source:||MAI 53/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Political science, Web Studies, Rhetoric|
|Keywords:||Campaigns, Election, Facebook, Obama, Romney, Twitter|
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