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Communication in the 2008 U.S. Election

Digital Natives Elect a President

Mitchell S. McKinney and Mary C. Banwart

The 2008 U.S. election was arguably the most important election of our lifetime: the first African American president was elected to office; the candidacy of Sarah Palin marked only the second time that a major party ticket included a female; and the electoral performance of young citizens – digital natives, greatly attracted by digital media – signaled the highest turnout in a long time.Taking all these issues into consideration, this book offers a landmark examination of the 2008 election from a global perspective, with emphasis on the wide range of digital media utilized by the campaigners and how campaign communication influenced young citizens. The authors argue that the use of digital technologies in the campaign, and the success of Barack Obama in attracting young voters to his cause, provides an excellent case study – perhaps something of a turning point in campaign communication – for carefully examining the emerging role of digital political media, and a continuing renewal in young citizens’ electoral engagement. The wide-ranging contributions to this volume provide a comprehensive examination of a historic political campaign and election. The book’s findings offer revealing answers regarding the content and effects of various forms of political campaign communication, and raise questions and possibilities for future research.
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Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah

The studies that comprise Political Socialization in a Media Saturated World synthesize, question, and update our knowledge of political socialization that has accumulated over the past 40 years of related research. The scholarship advances innovative theoretical perspectives and develops new models of the socialization process that revolve around the key social structures of family, media, peers, and school. The Hierarchy Model of Political Socialization, in particular, provides a comprehensive conceptual framework for organizing and analyzing youth responses to the political. With research that spans multiple election cycles across nearly a decade, and data drawn from a national panel study that allows for cross-generational comparison, the findings and models of political socialization presented provide the most comprehensive and in-depth examination of youth political socialization that exists to date. This book provides a foundation and research agenda for examining the Millennial generation in the coming years as these citizens mature to adults and become the driving force of society and our polity.
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Edited by Mitchell S. McKinney and Mary E. Stuckey

At the heart of how citizens, governments, and the media interact is the communication process, a process that is undergoing tremendous change. Never has there been a time when confronting the complexity of these evolving relationships been so important to the maintenance of civil society. This series seeks books that advance the understanding of this process from multiple perspectives and as it occurs in both institutionalized and non- institutionalized political settings. While works that provide new perspectives on traditional political communication questions are welcome, the series also encourages the submission of manuscripts that take an innovative approach to political communication, which seek to broaden the frontiers of study to incorporate critical and cultural dimensions of study as well as scientific and theoretical frontiers.
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alieNATION

The Divide & Conquer Election of 2012

Series:

Dianne G. Bystrom, Mary C. Banwart and Mitchell S. McKinney

alieNATION presents research conducted by a national election team and leading scholars in political communication that explores a range of important topics and variables affecting voter attitudes and behavior in the 2012 U.S. presidential election.
In exploring the messages, issues, and voters of the 2012 election, these studies employ multiple methods including experimental design, content analysis, rhetorical criticism, and survey research. Whereas other election research tends to investigate either the content or effects of campaign communication, the more comprehensive and systematic nature of this collection enables alieNATION to cohere thematically around considerations of voter alienation, political engagement, political efficacy, and ultimately, citizens’ voting decisions.
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Communicating Politics

Engaging the Public in Democratic Life

Mitchell S. McKinney, Lynda Lee Kaid, Dianne G. Bystrom and Diana B. Carlin