Ph.D. Spotlight: Elyse Claxton on Feminine Body Ideals in Teen Girl and Women Fashion Magazines and Instagram

Dr. Claxton’s dissertation analyzes whether (and how) Internet Communication Technologies (ICTs) diversify the kinds of images of women in fashion magazines. Media are important agents of socialization. Accordingly, media images reflect as well as inform what characteristics symbolize feminine beauty. In the field of female beauty and fashion magazines in the U.S., visual portrayals of…

Disinformation about School Shootings on Twitter: Why Does It Happen? What Kind of Information is Shared? Does it Matter?

All of this has implications for democracy. While disinformation and polemics may stimulate a broader public conversation about social concerns such as gun violence, the relative incivility of these narratives which included polemics and insults are unlikely to increase users’ tolerance to individuals’ championing opposing perspectives—which is an important precursor to consensus-building . Conversely, fact-based narratives, particularly those discussing May’s mental health, could assist in consensus-building regarding health care in America. Even the personal narratives shared by students may help those holding opposing points of view regarding issues such as gun control better understand one another insofar as these stories can help individuals find areas of unanticipated agreement. Disinformation, in short, is bad for political conversation, political debate and deliberative processes.

Color or Culture? Multiracial Women and Interracial Dating

For several decades, researchers (and mainstream media) have been interested in the prevalence of interracial relationships as a way to understand the shifts in social distance between racial groups and the impacts of racism on intimate life, particularly within online dating spaces. The excitement that spills over on social media every year on Loving Day…

The Failure of the #MeToo Movement

Time Magazine declared the “silence breakers” of the #MeToo movement the Time Person of the Year. The magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, honored the courage of “hundreds of others, and of many men as well, [who] have unleashed one of the highest-velocity shifts in our culture since the 1960s” in a statement on the Today Show….

How News Outlets Set the Agenda for Public Conversation

Our work raises some cautionary notes. As the composition of the media landscape continues to evolve, changes in how outlets cover important political issues may also have repercussions for the quality of our ongoing national conversation. Similarly, our findings appear to be in line with the notion that coordinated campaigns pushing misinformation (whether through established news outlets or newly invented ones) can have a surprisingly large impact in this era of online media consumption.

The Intersection Between Gender, Religion, and Instagram

I will continue to study the intersection between Christianity and gender, with a focus on masculinity. I am curious to learn how gender and religious identities interact and are articulated through Instagram. The Instagram app first came out when I was in high school, and quickly gained momentum among my peers and acquaintances, becoming one…