Social Media Use and Negative Partisanship Among College Students

Maas, Savannah (2018) Social Media Use and Negative Partisanship Among College Students. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Conor Dowling from Political Science, University of Mississippi.

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Abstract

Since the creation of the United States of America, the political climate has vastly changed and adapted, each time period with its own distinct characteristics. Today, the American electorate and Congress are more polarized than ever and “negative partisan-ship” has become a central characteristic in politics. Partisan identities of voters are more homogenous than ever and approval rates of people’s opposing parties are at an all-time low. People’s political decisions have begun to be more driven by dislike of the opposing party than support of their own. Social media has also grown over recent years and has begun to play a role in politics. The American electorate and political officials alike are able to share, discuss, and argue political information with people across the country in a matter of seconds. In this thesis, I examine prior research on polarization, partisanship, negative partisanship and studies that explore the relationship between social media and politics. I also discuss the reasoning behind the design for my survey, which was con-ducted at the University of Mississippi. Last, the thesis concludes with an examination of my original survey, which sheds light on the relationship between negative partisanship and social media use. Among the studies most important findings, is that college students at the University of Mississippi who are more negatively partisan are (1) more likely to find it difficult to befriend someone with different political beliefs than them, (2) more likely to follow people on social media with the same political beliefs, (3) more likely to have blocked or unfriended someone who disagrees with them politically, and (4) more likely to have lost a friend due to a political argument over social media.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Maas, Savannah
Student's Degree Program(s): B.A. in Political Science
Thesis Advisor: Conor Dowling
Thesis Advisor's Department: Political Science
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Depositing User: Miss Savannah Maas
Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 17:33
Last Modified: 09 May 2018 17:33
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/1100

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