Prepare: Select a public social media account of one current political figure you can access on either Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Political figures are people currently active and influential in shaping public policy. For example, you could look at elected officials (e.g., presidents, senators, or governors); political candidates, the directors of governmental institution (e.g., the National Institutes of Health).
Analyze: Review the last ten (or more) their posts. What are the posts about? Create categories to help you classify the posts (e.g., politics, current events, culture, everyday life, accomplishments, vacations or other outings). If any posts are of photos, consider the content of that photo — If it is a person, what are they doing? What are they wearing? If it is not a person, what is it? Where? What impression does the photo create?
Report: Once you have coded the status updates, write a one-page sociological analysis. Organize your post into the following sections:
Introduction and methods (one paragraph). Introduce us to who you’re analyzing, include all demographic information that is relevant (e.g., age, gender, occupation, etc.). Briefly describe how you obtained and analyzed your sample. Use information from our lessons on research methods to inform this section.
Analysis (two paragraphs). For the rest of your post, I’d like you to provide a Sociological analysis of how this uses impression management on social media. An analysis extends beyond basic listing and description and attempts to make sense of some larger more important ideas, concepts, structures, or processes. A Sociological analysis does this using Sociological theories and concepts. I would recommend making up to three major points/arguments.
Here, I’d like you to make several specific references to Sociological processes, concepts, or ideas presented you’ve learned in our readings and lessons until this point.
Writing that reflects informed analysis and critique are evaluated higher than writing with basic description. Click here for more information about research, citing, and elevated writing.
You must use at least one (1) external resource to support your claims and arguments. The sources can be from primary news sources or academic journals. This does not include the social media source. Click here for more information about research, citing, and elevated writing.
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