Congratulations to CCT faculty member Dr Leticia Bode who has been awarded a Georgetown University Summer Academic Grant in support of her research into media and political behavior. Dr Bode’s grant application came out tops in a highly competitive field where faculty projects were judged according to three criteria: importance of the proposed project, clarity and coherence of the project description, and qualifications of the scholar/grant applicant.
Dr Bode’s project, titled “Learning Politics, Sparking Participation,” uses a variety of methods to examine this topic. Here is her abstract: “We know very little about the politically apathetic, and when and how they transition to political engagement. This project seeks to understand this transformation, focusing in particular on the role that media plays in political activation. To do so, it uses a mixed methods approach, combining content analysis, qualitative interviews, and survey data to gain a richer understanding of political activation in the modern media environment. Tweets are used to identify people who have undergone recent political activation, and their content is coded for issues, tone, and medium-specific elements like hashtags and @mentions. Users are then contacted and interviewed about their political activation experiences. Both the content analysis and qualitative interviews are then used to inform the development of a survey, to better detect relationships between media and political activation. The study has major implications for our understanding of new media, political communication, and political behavior.”