Undergraduate Thesis Or Project
 

The Weinstein Effect: The Role of MeToo Movement in Altering the Communication Strategies of Members of Congress

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/5t34sq816

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  • In this paper, we explore the effect of critical events in shaping the responsiveness of elected officials to gender issues. In particular, we explore whether U.S. House Representatives discuss women’s issues more after the outing of Harvey Weinstein as a sexual harasser and the growth of the MeToo movement. To explore the impact of the Weinstein accusations and the movement that followed, we assess members of Congress’ discussions about gender issues on twitter before and after October 2017. Through our analysis of over 150,000 tweets from 409 U.S. House Representatives from the 115th Congress, we show that on average U.S. House Representatives were more likely to discuss women’s issues after the Harvey Weinstein incident. This change in focus on gender issues is driven primarily by female Democratic elected officials. Contrary to our expectations, the race/ethnicity of the female legislator did not predict changes in discussions of women’s issues above and beyond partisanship. Overall, we find evidence that critical events can have immediate and long-lasting effects on the communication strategies of members of Congress.
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