Identifier

etd-06012015-161114

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Mass Communication

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Scholars examining gender bias in elections have found that voters’ stereotypical expectations of women and men candidates affect their vote choice. This dissertation examines gender stereotypes from the perspective of campaigns. Specifically, I examine how ad, candidate and election variables interact with gender stereotypes to determine the use of emotions in political ads. My analysis contains ad data for the 2008 Senate, House and gubernatorial races gathered from the Wisconsin Advertising Project, combined with original content analysis of 1,170,728 ad airings (3,424 unique ads). The results indicate that campaigns’ use of fear, anger, enthusiasm and hope appeals depends to a great extent on gender stereotypes, and that this relationship is conditional on other factors such as the gender of the opponent, the level of the office, and the competitiveness of the election.

Date

2015

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dunaway, Johanna

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