Controlling the Message: New Media in American Political Campaigns

New York Univ. Apr. 2015. 368p. ed. by Victoria A. Farrar-Myers & . illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781479886357. $89; ebk. ISBN 9781479867592. POL SCI
The 2012 presidential and congressional races serve as a laboratory for the scholars in this volume, who contribute 13 chapters on the impact of social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and online forums) on these elections. Editors Farrar-Myers (political science, Univ. of Texas at Arlington; coeditor, Corruption and American Politics) and Vaughn (political science, Boise State Univ.; coeditor, Women and the White House) identify four themes covered by their contributors: how the campaigns used new media; continuities and differences between new and traditional media; political consequences of new media; and broader effects upon democracy. The chapters share a structure of introduction, literature review, research question and research design, discussion, and conclusion. The editors, in summary, conclude that the fundamentals of running a campaign remain little changed and that the effects of social media, to date, "occur at the margins" (while noting that elections are often won at the margins).
VERDICT This book was written for scholars; political scientists specializing in this emerging field will appreciate the rigor of these studies. Other readers, however, would find the book inaccessible. [See "Editors' Spring Picks," LJ 2/15/15.]
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