Strickler, Jeremy; Auchter, Jessica
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
How is public opinion in the United States affected by the president and the Black Lives Matter social movement’s competing frames on racial inequality? Political elites have used frames to shape public opinion on a multitude of issues, showing success in select and specific conditions. However, it seems that competition, a moderator of framing effects, is always present in politics, especially between a social movement and president. I expand upon the theory that, in competitive environments, repetition or recent exposure increases a frame’s accessibility in memory, therefore the “loudest” of the two frames is the one that influences opinion. To examine this claim, I conducted a content analysis to discern the frames presented frequently by the elite actors and I conducted a survey experiment measuring the influence of each frame on public opinion compared to a control group. I found that when presented with either the Black Lives Matter's racism frame or President Trump’s law and order frame, opinion shifted favorably towards the existence of racial inequality and less hostility toward black Americans. This adds to the limited literature on the impact of social movements’ frames on public opinion as well as the consequences of unpopular presidents on public opinion.
B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.
Black lives matter movement
Trump, Donald, -- 1946-
Adams, Samantha M., "Framing effects in a competitive environment: Black Lives Matter versus President Trump" (2018). Honors Theses.