SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

Journal Article 1: DeGroot, J. M., & Carmack, H. J. (2018). Loss, meaning-making, and coping after the 2016 Presidential Election. Illness, Crisis, and Loss.

Abstract: Hillary Rodham Clinton was heralded by news outlets and political pundits as the clear frontrunner and expected winner of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. Her election loss to Republican Donald Trump was not only surprising, for many voters, it was devastating. Guided by the death studies literature about meaning-making after a loss, the purpose of this study was to explore how voters who were disappointed by the results of the election made sense of the experience. Two hundred participants completed an online open-ended questionnaire about their feelings and coping methods for the loss. Participants framed Clinton’s loss as similar to the death of a loved one or the ending of a relationship. Participants utilized various coping strategies to deal with their grief, ranging from engaging in political activism to completely shutting themselves off from others. These findings have a number of implications for communication scholars and grief practitioners.

Journal Article 2: Bor, S. E. (2014). Using social network sites to improve communication between political campaigns and citizens in the 2012 election. American Behavioral Scientist, 58(9), 1195–1213.

Abstract: During the 2012 United States election the prevalence of political campaigning permeated throughout social network sites. It was not uncommon for political candidates on all levels of government to integrate an array of social network sites in their campaign communication strategies. Despite their vast use in elections and the recognition of their significance in the media, there is a lack of empirical research that examines the complex relationship between political campaigns and social network sites. The present research responds to this gap in the literature as it seeks to understand how two congressional campaigns employed social network sites to facilitate campaign communication. Following the collection of data from qualitative interviews with campaign staff, analysis revealed that social network sites were used to improve the effectiveness of their campaigns’ messages, to generate online engagement and offline activism, and to improve understanding the needs and opinions of the electorate.