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University of Massachusetts Amherst
communication, campaigning, class, middle class, race, representation
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About Me

My dissertation problematizes the middle class identity, focusing on whether the identity is racialized. I explore to what extent politicians leverage the identity to discuss policy positions and proposals, and citizens’ potentially racialized reactions to hearing a middle class appeal. I contend that the middle class trope is problematic: due to its inherent ambiguity, politicians can harness the identity to support ideologically diverse objectives, and an use it to appeal, in a subtle fashion, to white citizens’ racial biases. My other research interests include political communication, women’s political behavior, and the intersection of rhetoric and public policy.

Recent Publications
  1. Jesse H. Rhodes and Kaylee T. Johnson. Forthcoming January 2017. “Welcoming Their Hatred: Class Populism in Democratic Rhetoric in American Presidential Campaigns, 1932-2012.” Presidential Studies Quarterly.
  2. Justin H. Gross and Kaylee T. Johnson. Forthcoming October 2016. “Twitter Taunts and Tirades: Negative Campaigning in the Age of Trump.” PS: Political Science and Politics.
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