Political Identity & Online Dating: A Mixed-Methods Approach to Understanding Political Identity Expression Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Collier, Jessica
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Mass Communication Graduate Program
  • Research has highlighted the transformation of politics from ideology to identity as well as the influence of politics in nonpolitical contexts. The present thesis extends these branches of literature by examining politics as identity within a context where individuals are unaware of the political beliefs of their audience: online dating sites. Using a social identity approach, the author conducts a content analysis of 1,000 profiles from a popular online dating site to explore the content that individuals choose to disclose. The author also conducts an experiment with 144 undergraduates to measure importance of political identity and willingness to disclose information on dating sites. Results suggest that political identity is not readily expressed on online dating sites and despite the measured importance of the identity, salience cannot influence expression of political identity. Implications are important for the study of politics as a social identity as well as indirect influences on polarization.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Carpentier, Francesca
  • MacKuen, Michael
  • Kreiss, Daniel
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016

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