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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The social mediated construction of 'bad' laws: An ethnographic content analysis of Arizona SB 1062
by Robb, Allison, M.S., Northern Arizona University, 2015, 127; 1594024
Abstract (Summary)

My thesis examines the socially mediated construction of reality, and how through this, laws can come to be perceived as ‘bad’. I expand upon Berger and Luckmanns (1966) Social Construction of Reality theory to illustrate this process. A qualitative research approach called ethnographic content analysis or ‘ECA’ was used to gather data from Twitter and Facebook (Altheide, 1996). With ECA I examine cultural artifacts like postings and publications on the Internet and in these social media networks. I explore how users of Twitter and Facebook construct a reality in which a law becomes bad through habitual use of social media. I illustrate the social mediated perception of ‘bad’ laws using a case study of a proposed Arizona bill called The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or ‘Senate Bill 1062’ (AZ SB 1062). AZ SB 1062 would have protected a businesses right to refuse service to customers and allowed the use of a ‘sincerely held religious belief’ as a defense in court for discriminating. An analysis of social media content about this ‘bad’ law contributes to the scholarly literature by providing a broader look at power and influence in social media, how social media enables stereotypes, and the recycling of images and headlines. Social media reinforces the construction that a law is ‘bad’ based upon carefully constructed repeated headlines that serve to typify a user’s knowledge, in the form of an attention grabbing 140-character tweet.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Morgan, Phoebe A.
Commitee: Alvarez, Alex, Prior, Sarah, Robyn, Linda
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 54/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Accounting, Cultural anthropology, LGBTQ studies, Criminology
Keywords: Arizona
Publication Number: 1594024
ISBN: 978-1-321-90748-3
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