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The Oprah Factor 2020: An Analysis of Race Related Political Expression among Black, Latina, and White Female Celebrities on Instagram and Twitter


The current content analysis examined celebrity political expression for the most followed female Black, Latina, and White celebrities across two different platforms (i.e., Instagram & Twitter). Race/ethnic related political expressions were collected during the 4-weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election, yielding a sample of 837 posts. Assumptions rooted in the social identity model of collective action (SIMCA) were applied to determine which types of message features would be expected to have the greatest potential influence among followers of the same racial and ethnic identity. This framework focuses on three primary predictors of collective action identified in the model: group identity, group injustice, and collective efficacy beliefs. These are argued to serve as causal influences on social mobilization. Results from the current analysis suggest distinct profiles of political posting across these celebrities. Black celebrities were more likely to use message features that addressed disparities impacting their group, focusing on topics that were tied to the justice system and using framing devices signaling injustice (i.e., moral outrage, violation and protection). On the other hand, posts from Latina celebrities centered on their identity and often used optimism in the framing. Finally, White celebrities posted most often about topics and groups they did not belong to.

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