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Does The Social Media Have An Effect On Election Outcome? A Case Study of Obama's Election In 2008 (Dissertation Sample)


This was a research paper on how the Social Media Have An Effect On Election Outcome? A Case Study of Obama’s Election In 2008

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Does The Social Media Have An Effect On Election Outcome? A Case Study of Obama’s Election In 2008
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Table of Contents
 TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u  HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379774" Table of Contents  PAGEREF _Toc335379774 \h ii
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379775" Chapter 1: Introduction  PAGEREF _Toc335379775 \h 1
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379776" Introduction  PAGEREF _Toc335379776 \h 1
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379777" Background Information  PAGEREF _Toc335379777 \h 1
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379778" Problem Statement  PAGEREF _Toc335379778 \h 4
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379779" Objectives of the Study  PAGEREF _Toc335379779 \h 5
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379780" Specific Objectives  PAGEREF _Toc335379780 \h 5
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379781" Research Questions  PAGEREF _Toc335379781 \h 5
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379782" Justification of the Study  PAGEREF _Toc335379782 \h 5
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379783" Aim of the Study  PAGEREF _Toc335379783 \h 6
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379784" Scope and Delimitations of the Study  PAGEREF _Toc335379784 \h 6
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379785" Organization of the Study  PAGEREF _Toc335379785 \h 7
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379786" Chapter 2: Literature Review  PAGEREF _Toc335379786 \h 8
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379787" Media and agenda setting theory  PAGEREF _Toc335379787 \h 8
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379788" Other determiners of an election outcome  PAGEREF _Toc335379788 \h 10
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379789" Social Media and Obama’s Presidential Election Campaign in 2008  PAGEREF _Toc335379789 \h 12
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379790" The Research Gap  PAGEREF _Toc335379790 \h 16
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379791" Chapter 3: Methodology  PAGEREF _Toc335379791 \h 17
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379792" Introduction  PAGEREF _Toc335379792 \h 17
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379793" Research Philosophy  PAGEREF _Toc335379793 \h 17
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379794" Research Approach  PAGEREF _Toc335379794 \h 19
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379795" Research Design and Choice  PAGEREF _Toc335379795 \h 19
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379796" Research Strategy  PAGEREF _Toc335379796 \h 19
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379797" Methods of Data Collection  PAGEREF _Toc335379797 \h 20
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379798" Secondary Sources: Content Analysis  PAGEREF _Toc335379798 \h 20
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379799" Primary Sources: Qualitative Interviews  PAGEREF _Toc335379799 \h 20
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379800" Interview design  PAGEREF _Toc335379800 \h 22
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379801" Sampling Strategy  PAGEREF _Toc335379801 \h 22
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379802" Study Limitations  PAGEREF _Toc335379802 \h 23
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379803" Chapter 4: Findings and Analysis  PAGEREF _Toc335379803 \h 24
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379804" Chapter 5: Conclusions  PAGEREF _Toc335379804 \h 28
 HYPERLINK \l "_Toc335379805" List of References  PAGEREF _Toc335379805 \h 30

Chapter 1: Introduction
The use of media for political purposes has been a common occurrence in almost all the countries across the world. The countries in which media has widely been used by politicians includes the United Kingdom (U.K), Canada, Germany and the United States (U.S) among others. The 44th president of the United States, Barrack Obama, for instance incorporated media, especially the modern social media as a strategy to communicate his political principles and that aided to politically sway many Americans towards his way. Media therefore has a greater effect in determining the voter preference and choice and thus the election outcomes.
Various studies have covered media as a tool that has so far been employed by famous politicians to enhance their political campaign strategies. However, not much has been given on the effects that the media has on the end result of the politics, that it; the eventual election outcomes. The study therefore seeks to carefully examine the effects of the media on the outcomes of the elections, a case study of 2008’s Obama’s presidential election. The study will undertake this examination reviewing the previous works on the utilization of media for political gains.
Background Information
Media has so much been used in the political arena. Media itself refers to the channels of communication through which entertainment, news, education, promotional messages and data are disseminated (Mangum, 2011). The term media comprises of both narrowcasting and broadcasting communication forms like magazines, newspapers, billboards, Radio, TV, telephone, direct mail, fax, and the internet. However, with the current world, internet has a major center of attention and the 2008 election campaigns, Obama focused greatly on the internet specifically, the social media (social sites) which on the other hand refers to the electronic communication forms such as websites for micro blogging and social networking that enable users to create virtual online communities for the purpose of sharing ideas, information, personal messages as well as other contents such as videos(Marlin-Bennett & Thornton,2012). In social media, the users post their ideas, photos, videos, and then get various different reactions from others and they can even share web pages. This is very vital in gauging the people’s attitude and views about a given opinion or fact.
Basically, there exist about six basic social media forms from which users choose what fits there needs although in most cases the term social media is used to refer to social networks (Ricci, 1998). The social networks are the sites that guarantee the creation of online community for sharing of interests and opinion. The best examples are Facebook and Myspace. The second category of social media is the blogging (and the Microblogging) which are the websites in journal style and the information in them are frequently updated (microblogging means the publishing of the brief messages in text form) (Schmitt-Beck & Mackenrodt, 2010).The major examples are WordPress and Twitter. Social Bookmarking are the social media form which allow the saving and sharing of the web pages by the users such as and Digg. On the other hand, Media Sharing refers to the social media forms that give room for sharing of videos and photos like YouTube and Flickr. The fifth category is the Social Reviews which are the forms that are majorly used by Hotels to enable the travelers to review facts about the hotel of their choice. They are useful for the potential guests to effectively plan their travel. Social reviews include Yelp and TripAdvisor, and lastly is the User Generated Content (UGC) which is essentially the travel guides drafted by the users. They comprise of WikiTravel and World66.The list of the social media continue to grow longer and longer each day, but their crucial characteristic is continuously their ability to facilitate the sharing and discussion of information within the network (Hansen, Shneiderman, & Smith, 2011).
Barack Obama’s campaign for the 2008 US election that saw him through as the 44th president of the Untied States of America Illustrated the meaningful, massive impact that the social media has on getting the young people involved and engaged(David,2003). The site was not just a mere website; it was a strategic online movement that was purposefully started to make the politics easily accessible through the internet (social media) which was already gaining among various people, more so the youth, which were the major target of this strategy. It completely changed the face of the political campaigns, and most importantly, it made the involvement into the politics (campaigns) as easier as just sitting on a computer, opening a web browser create and then creating an individual online profile after which, contributions and any form of involvement will just be a button away. Above all, Obama’s campaign made a great history: It portrayed the power of the social media in changing the global politics.
This mission of the Obama’s was considered the most effective in history, it was the very first of the political campaigns to truly utilize the power of the social media in spreading the word, effectively engage people and garner support(Shin & Lee,2012). His campaigns swayed up to 5 million supporters online on about 15 different social sites (networks) during the campaign season; by around November of 2008, Obama had gained roughly 2.5 million followers (supporters) on Facebook, 115,000 Twitter supporters and the his YouTube channel viewers had shot up to 50 million and according to Michael Malbin who was by then the executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute (Busch,2006),no other political candidate in the history of the United States had ever managed the full picture integration to the extent that Obama did, that is what was really different about his approach to campaign. The campaign was not just by creating the Facebook fan page or the account on YouTube and then sit back to watch things flow: the campaign team created involvement energy of participation and some sense of principle or purpose for the supporters and each was funneled using the technologies of the social networking. The media was not used as a message to pass the information but as a vehicle. It offered the real time connection between the real people and the real enthusiasm and presented them (the supporters) an accessible and easier way to fully show their true support the change that was greatly needed in the United Stat...
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