Jieun Shin Co-Authors Article on COVID-19 Mask-Wearing and Political Party Affiliation
Jieun Shin, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Media Production, Management, and Technology assistant professor, is the co-author of “Mask-Wearing as a Partisan Issue: Social Identity and Communication of Party Norms on Social Media Among Political Elites” published in Social Media + Society on March 25.
Shin, Aimei Yang, Wenlin Liu, Hye Min Kim, Alvin Zhou and Jingyl Sun examined how political elites, for example the members of the 116th U.S. Congress, communicated norms about mask-wearing on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. They found that based on Twitter posts, Congressional Republicans were significantly less likely to promote mask-wearing than Democrats.
According to the authors, “We also observed some variations in norm-conforming behaviors among the members of each party. For Republicans, increased loyalty to the Trump leadership was significantly associated with a lower level of mask promotion. For Democrats, we found some evidence that loyalty to the party predicted higher levels of mask promotion. On the other hand, interactions with out-group members decreased adherence to party norms for both parties in Congress.”
They add, “These findings allow us to better understand the social–psychological effects of party membership among political elites as well as the importance of leader–follower relationships and intergroup interactions.”