Skip to main content

Automated Sentiment Analysis of Media Narrative on the American Dream (DSI-SRP)

Posted by on Saturday, August 1, 2020 in College of Arts and Science, Completed Research, DSI-SRP, Social and Behavioral Sciences.

This DSI-SRP fellowship funded Peixuan Li to work in the laboratory of Professor Eunji Kim in the Department of Political Science during the summer of 2020. Peixuan anticipates graduating in 2022, and is majoring in Political Science and Economics with a minor in Computer Science.

The project funded by this fellowship aimed to understand the effects of Americans’ media consumption on their attitudes towards economic mobility. Contemporary Americans are watching a record number of entertainment TV programs emphasizing “rags-to-riches” narratives. The hypothesis here is that exposure to these programs increases viewers’ beliefs in the American Dream as well as economic mobility. To the extent that belief in economic mobility can legitimize income inequality, this research project could have implications for the study of redistributive democracy and American public opinion more generally. Because of COVID-19, Peixuan also worked closely with Dr. Kim on another project in the summer of 2020, Gender Inequality across Political Scientists in the face of Covid-19. Peixuan assisted Dr. Kim with collecting the data for machine learning and analysis. They learned that female academics tweet less about work compared to male academics, although both tweet less in post-pandemic period. Female academics tweet more about family compared to male academics, even more than pre-pandemic period. Also, academics at lower ranks (assistant, associate) are more affected, consistent with their assumption that familial obligations decrease productivity for female faculty members.

In addition to receiving support through a DSI-SRP fellowship, this project was supported and facilitated by the DSI Data Science Team through their regular summer workshops and demo sessions.

Tags: , , , , , ,