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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

America's Hope: The Expression of Political Attitudes Following the 2016 Election
by Yano, Diane, M.A., Hofstra University, 2018, 106; 10826303
Abstract (Summary)

The 2016 United States presidential election stirred topics of racism and gender equality between candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump won the presidency, but had a disapproval rating a year into his presidency of 59%. To investigate the attitudes of Americans towards Donald Trump, this study aimed to answer the research question: how do political attitudes change over time? A dataset from the CBS network television show 60 Minutes was used to analyze the responses of a panel of 14 participants interviewed in Michigan discussing their views on Donald Trump. The state of Michigan was chosen by CBS as it was split in the election with 47% of voted going to Clinton, and 47.4% to Trump. The panel of participants discussed Donald Trump’s first months of presidency and was interviewed three months later as they formed an online chat group and formed relationships.

To test the hypothesis: If political attitudes were negative in the first interview, they will remain negative in the second interview, the methodologies of corpus analysis and appraisal analysis were used. The interviews were compared to each other using corpus analysis to examine the keywords dominating each interview, and the system of appraisal analysis was used on transcripts of both interviews to identify the attitude tokens of affect, judgement, and appreciation in the participant’s responses. It was found that tokens of affect, judgement, and appreciation rejected the hypothesis. Instead, the findings supported a null hypothesis since the subsystem of appreciation changed from negative in the first interview to positive in the second. Attitudes towards the president’s social media use and language use remained the same, negative; however, they valued the first interview to such an extent that all appreciation tokens became positive. The findings stress the importance of engagement between people of opposing political views.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gales, Tammy A.
School: Hofstra University
Department: Forensic Linguistics
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics
Keywords: Appraisal analysis, Corpus analysis, Discourse analysis, Forensic linguistics, Political attitudes, Social media
Publication Number: 10826303
ISBN: 978-0-438-00766-6
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