Published by the School of Communications, Elon University

Fall 2016 Issue

Download the PDF of the entire fall 2016 Issue


The Manipulation and Role of Stereotypes
in the Rush Hour Trilogy

By Matt Lee

While the Rush Hour trilogy is one of the most commercially successful biracial martial arts action comedies, the films are known for stereotyping characters. Through a content analysis, the author coded each scene and character in the films based on the ethnicity, stereotype, and implication of the stereotype presented. While the films perpetuate a number of stereotypes, most of them are generalizations exaggerated for comedic reasons. The film communicates them mostly through dialogue and behaviors for humor, yet the trilogy does include positive stereotypes that divert from the norm. These findings may contribute to the discussion of stereotypes in films and provide insight into how stereotypes are manipulated and presented to influence audiences. Faculty mentor: Glenn Scott


Influence of Advertising During the Great Depression

By Kate Nichols

The 1930s—a decade rife with poverty, unemployment, and rationing—was not known for its flourishing economy and successful business endeavors in America. This study investigated the influence of advertising on consumerism during the Great Depression, attempting to uncover what advertising strategies were most effective. It compared American Tobacco Company’s rising and falling advertising investment throughout the 1930s with company profits to identify if advertising influenced company prosperity. When a direct correlation was present, this study investigated what advertising techniques were used. The information is useful in studies of advertising during recessions. Faculty mentors: David Copeland and Glenn Scott


A Case Study of Comedian Hannibal Buress
and Humor as an Agent for Change

By Frankie Campisano

Comedian Hannibal Buress was launched into the national spotlight after a YouTube clip of his stand-up routine went viral in October 2014. In the clip, Buress addressed the sexual assault allegations against Bill Cosby, fueling renewed interest in the case in the public eye, leading to Cosby’s arrest in December 2015. This case study examined the material in Buress’ stand-up comedy specials to contextualize the clip and determine which classical theories of humor his work employs, as well as persuasive methods used to engage audiences and address sociopolitical subject matter. Faculty mentor: Don Grady


An Analysis of Agency Directors’ Strategies
in Casting Applicants for Reality-Based Television

By Mia Geswelli

Reality-based television has developed as an entertaining and dynamic viewing platform with the power to catapult non-actors into the status of iconic television characters. This qualitative study investigated how agency directors execute the general casting process, identify what qualities make for a memorable reality cast member, and interpret the concept of production editing for a reality series. Based on four in-depth interviews conducted with casting agents, the study identified three success factors: “layered” individuals, fluid character storylines, and effective production and editing within reality television. Faculty mentor: Glenn Scott


The European Union’s Framing of the European Refugee Crisis

By Tara Wirth

During the past decade, Turkey has been negotiating for European Union membership—a request met with concerns over the country’s human rights record and economic status. Yet Turkey, due to its location, has been at the front lines of the European Refugee Crisis, with millions of refugees fleeing their home countries because of ISIS and the Syrian civil war. This study explores how the EU is communicating about the refugee crisis and if the crisis is affecting Turkey’s membership negotiations. The qualitative study, which uses framing theory, analyzed the emerging themes in 22 press releases from the EU website. Faculty mentor: Kenn Gaither

Analysis of Representations of African Americans
in Non-linear Streaming Media Content

By Tony Weaver Jr.

Nonlinear distribution methods have changed the way that media content is consumed, with viewers now able to watch entire series in a few sittings. To develop a better understanding of how African Americans are portrayed on nonlinear distribution platforms, a content analysis was performed on the top five shows from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Findings suggest that online streaming platforms offer more diversity than traditional television, although underrepresentation and misrepresentation remain major issues in this space. Faculty mentor: Naeemah Clark

Framing of Children in News Stories
about U.S. Immigration from Latin America

By Simone Jasper

As immigration to the United States from Latin America has grown more prevalent in recent years, U.S. journalists have reported on the effects of the influx of Latinos entering the country, often detailing the changes in demographics and government policies. This study is a framing analysis exploring how newspapers in Arizona and Texas portrayed this immigration process. It was hypothesized that U.S. journalists framed child migrants as victims of economic and political instability in their countries of origin. Articles in newspapers from within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border were analyzed using a coding technique to determine the framing of children. Faculty mentor: Kenn Gaither


Examining the Beauty Industry’s Use of Social Influencers

By Kristen Forbes

With the rise of social media, the use of social influencers has become a popular tactic in brand marketing. Research to date regarding the use of social influencers for branding has lacked specific insight regarding the beauty industry. This study identified characteristics of selected beauty social influencers to see how they are utilized in advertorials for brands on YouTube. The study used a content analysis of Maybelline's sponsored videos that three influencers produced and featured on their YouTube channels. Attribution theory and social learning theory were used for analysis of influencers' impact on viewers. Faculty mentor: Don Grady


An Analysis of Mental Health in Women’s Magazines

By Amanda Garrity

Women’s magazines are instrumental in generating a conversation about conditions that affect their readers, including mental health, which often goes untreated or undiagnosed by a doctor. Through content analysis and the objectification theory, this study analyzed how mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and stress are mentioned in three women’s magazines: Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and The Oprah Magazine. Findings suggest there is an imbalanced representation of mental health conditions, a misuse of mental health terminology, and a stigma surrounding this issue. Faculty mentor: Glenn Scott


Deconstructing the Empowering and Disempowering Messages
in Seventeen Magazine

By Lindsey Lanquist

Women’s magazines have long struggled to balance their desire to empower women with their financial need to disempower them—thus providing readers with ambivalent messages. This research examined the ways in which a popular teen magazine, Seventeen, navigates this balance. Through a two-part critical analysis grounded in feminist theory, this study analyzed empowering and disempowering messages the magazine sent its readers in two of its most recent issues. Findings suggested the magazine is more empowering than it is disempowering, but it could improve by increasing inclusion of diverse readers and halting its perpetuation of conventional beauty standards. Faculty mentor: Glenn Scott