Helms School of Government
Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice (PhD)
anti-police rhetoric, anti-Christian rhetoric, victim-blaming, racism, mainstream media, social media, racial disparity, fake news, police brutality
Harmon, Traci Jo, "The Etiology of a New Era: Where Heroes Become Zeros and Victims Become Villains" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4802.
The United States is in a state of turmoil. Unlike any time before this, division in the country is overtaking the COVID-19 pandemic as the biggest threat to life and liberty. Previous research is contradictive in identifying the etiology of anti-police rhetoric, anti-Christian rhetoric, and victim-blaming. The current research attempts to find out if mainstream and or social media is the etiology of the racial, religious, and victim division in The United States. Attitudes towards law enforcement, Christians, and victims were measured against platforms for current events, hours per day on mainstream and social media, age, gender, and race/ethnicity. Significant results suggest that when participants use friends/family for current events information, they are more likely to have negative attitudes towards Christians. Mainstream media hours revealed no significant results, however social media hours were implicated in increased Anti-Christian rhetoric, and victim blaming. Age was a predictor of victim blaming, and race/ethnicity was a predictor of negative attitudes toward law enforcement and victim blaming. While a universal etiology was not revealed, overall, the attitudes towards law enforcement, and Christians were negative.