Stevenson University Communication Studies Capstones

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The CM 720 Capstone: Communication Project or Thesis course provides guidance for students as they design and construct their final project or conduct an original research investigation (thesis). Students create a final project or thesis based on their knowledge and personal experiences, and produce an original research or creative project applying and connecting theory and practice. Students present the results of their work to members of the department and/or program prior to their being added to this collection.


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    Connected: Polarization in Online Environments
    (2021) Borden, Brittani A.; Ward, Stanley J.; Stevenson University Online; Communication Studies
    This case study will analyze research surrounding the rhetoric of polarization in online environments and how it can influence behavior and emotion. Through the analysis and review of three socialites who were vocal on Twitter regarding polarized ideas three groups, hate groups, fandom groups, and political parties, are cross analyzed to see how individuals who identify with these groups show trends in rhetoric. This text will highlight connections and differences in the rhetorical styles used by each group and how they potentially inspired behavior from March through October of 2020 in United States based online environments during a number of Black Lives Matter and Make America Great Again protests. Polarization is defined and applied to each public figures’ tweets within the time frame are examined for potential ability to influence behavior. The purpose of this research is to examine how each group showed differences or similarities in outgroup versus ingroup rhetoric and better understand how such rhetoric can be increasingly impactful when introduced or reinforced in online settings as social media use rises worldwide.