Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

6052

Date

2017

Date of Award

11-15-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major

Sociology

Committee Chair

Junmin Wang

Committee Member

Seth Abrutyn

Committee Member

Wesley James

Abstract

Following voting for George W. Bush in 2000, research shows that Muslim Americans moved away from the Republican Party in 2004 in unprecedented numbers and continued to support the Democratic Party in subsequent elections. To explain Muslim Americans' shifting voting preference most studies employ quantitative survey methods and examine associations between religious variables and partisanship. In this study, with a focus on the 2016 Presidential election, I analyze qualitative data gathered from 22 in-depth interviews in Memphis and develop a theoretical framework of emotional-cognition to interpret Muslim Americans' voting behaviors. I find that emotion played an important role in Muslim Americans' political participation and voter choice. I suggest that anti-Muslim rhetoric from then President-elect Trump and conservative pundits sent emotion signals of fear to Muslim American voters who, in turn, became afraid for their safety and livelihood, and such a fear drove them to vote for the Democratic Party.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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