Queen of the Clapback: A Framing Analysis of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Use of Social Media
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, commonly known as AOC, quickly became a national public figure when she became the youngest elected Congresswoman in American history. The purpose of this study was to analyze the strategies used by AOC to frame her messages on two popular social media networks: Twitter and Instagram. Using a mixed-methods approach, this study analyses the frames and content of the data to reveal the strategies used by AOC during the three months prior to her election (August 2018-November 2018) and the three months after her election (November 2018-February 2019). Using pre-determined frames to compartmentalize (or code) the contents of her posts, the study concluded that prior to her election, the strategy was to create an image to which people could relate to. Additionally, making comparisons between how things are and how they could be created a sense of hope and foreshadowed a better tomorrow. After her election, the content of her social media posts became more combative in fighting back against critics and redirecting negative messages. The parameters placed on the study limit the scope of the research, creating opportunity for further research of the communication exchanged on virtual spaces by public figures.