C+MRC Research Associates (students majoring in Communication Studies, Communication & Media Arts, or Public Relations enrolled in CMST 280 Investigative Research Methods) have explored the following research topics:

Phallocentrism, Feminism and Social Media: Who Really Has the Power?






Gender Bending & Androgyny Through the Lens of Louis Vuitton 

Why Do Males Watch The Bachelor? 

Our proposed study plans to examine why men watch The Bachelor. After finding men on Twitter who watch The Bachelor, we will direct message them surveys that they will fill out and ask them to be participants in a focus group. The study will focus specifically on why male viewers ages 18-34 located in the United States watch The Bachelor. To find the answer to this question, we will be using surveys and multiple focus groups to obtain men’s opinions on the subject. In order to find male viewers to participate in our study, we will search Twitter to see who is tweeting about The Bachelor, specifically those who are tweeting using “#TheBachelor”. From the individuals who are tweeting, we will find the male viewers and reach out to them through Twitter direct messaging and ask if they are open to participating in our study.

The Power of Celebrity and Hashtags in Shaping the Planned Parenthood Narrative 

How do celebrities persuade their Twitter followers with the use of hashtags? Our team will rhetorically analyze the use of  #StandwithPP and #DefundPP hashtags as they shape and reflect the narrative about Planned Parenthood. We will also use survey questionnaires to gauge the understanding and awareness about Planned Parenthood among the Twitter followers of Julianne Moore and Celine Dion.

A Mixed Methods Analysis of Instagram Influencers and Sponsorships

Social media is a globally used resource that allows for various types of person to person interaction that has up until this point, lacked any government regulation. For the purpose of our study, social media is defined as applications that the public uses in order to interact, display messages and edit photos to display a certain lifestyle. We will be looking at Instagram as our specific platform/application because it is a platform that can use many types of media to display a message i.e. sound, photo, video and text. Social media influencers and brands are teaming up to take over all social media platforms in hopes for monetary gain. Social media users are often unaware of sponsored content that is being posted by those that they follow, which allows brands to capitalize. The idea of “hidden disclosure” creates some tension between brand and consumers. Due to the frequency of social media use in communities worldwide, advertisements and endorsements need to be further regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) in order for consumers to make a conscious and appropriate judgment on the product. This study will be specifically targeted toward an Australian lifestyle influencer named Tammy Hembrow, to see how influencers such as Hembrow appeal to the masses with their content and subsequent guidelines that the FTC and FCC should take.

The goal in pursuit of the proposed study is to unveil the possible sponsored content under the disguise of a simple post on Instagram by influencers such as Tammy Hembrow, when it comes to brand sponsorships. We will also be taking a look at the FTC guidelines to determine where is the line between integrated content and deceptively formatted advertising. To narrow down a very broad and dense topic, this study will focus solely on one specific influencer, Tammy Hembrow, by looking through her Instagram account and examining a number of posts with the application of content, semiotic and rhetorical analysis.

Audience’s Attitudes About Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball Music Video

Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball music video has been viewed almost one billion times on YouTube. When it was released in 2013 it broke VEVO’s record for the most viewed clip within the first 24 hours. After Cyrus’ 2013 MTV performance, Cyrus presented a dramatic change from a typical Disney kid to a young adult free to express herself. Others viewed her as more empowering than her former self and as a feminist through this change (Ruben, 2017). The Wrecking Ball music video is one of Miley Cyrus’ first provocative music videos which showed her new alter ego (MileyCyrusVevo, 2013). Rather than focus on Miley Cyrus’ evolution itself, this proposed study examines the attitudes and understandings preteen girls have in response to viewing the music video, Wrecking Ball. We propose to examine this through a mixed study of interviews and surveying. This will allow us to gather information regarding the attitudes and opinions preteen girls have about Miley Cyrus and her music video, Wrecking Ball.

What Aspects of the Super Bowl Appeal to Montclair State University Students?

We will look for trends across age, gender, and socioeconomic statuses and take into account how these factors may influence what aspects of the Super Bowl appeal to the undergraduate student population at Montclair State University.

A Mixed Methods Approach to Understanding the TimesUp Movement

Our team will be using discourse analysis to study the meaning behind the tweets referencing #TimesUp and content analysis to analyze the frequency of positive/negative attitudes about Times Up movement as it occurs on Twitter. More broadly, our team is interested in how the exposure of the #TimesUp movement has increased/decreased audience awareness about this social issue; and how can changing the language that surrounds the movement potentially decreased workplace harassment?

A Critical Discourse Analysis & Descriptive Statistic Research of Facebook Users Reactions After the Outing of Caitlyn Jenner

This event gives us an opportunity to understand what people’s perspectives are towards this community. Our project throughout this semester has revolved around how people reacted to this transformation on popular social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. For our study we refined our study to just Facebook users. We did this by using two different types of methods that we have learned over the course of the semester: one being qualitative and the other being quantitative. We chose Facebook because this sites give people an ability to express their opinion and many people enjoy expressing their opinions on topics they strongly believe in. Anyone with a Facebook for example has the ability to post a status, or comment on another’s post. Social Media websites like Facebook and Twitter have magnified this issue the most because Facebook has one of the most popular social media websites since its existence, and Twitter continues to expand. Our process for conducting the study involved searching through Facebook for comments, reactions, and opinions that allowed us to make sense of Facebook users perspective on Caitlyn Jenner’s outing and how her existence may represent their views. We using the Vanity fair Facebook page, specifically Caitlyn Jenner’s magazine cover to collect reactions from.