Term of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Department

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Ted Brimeyer

Committee Member 1

Heidi Altman

Committee Member 2

Erik Brooks

Abstract

This study is a quantitative content analysis that analyzes how The New York Times framed income inequality between 2006 and 2010. A thorough review of the literature regarding rising income inequality in the United States, media theory, framing, bias, cultural hegemony, liberal and neoliberal political trends, and social mobility precedes findings that media coverage of income inequality declined while inequality grew. Various neoliberal, liberal, and neutral frames are identified and examined for slant and bias. I find that while the Times has a slight liberal bias in framing income inequality, a neoliberal hegemonic discourse pervades how the issue is addressed. Finally, I address the significance of social mobility as an absent frame in the media's discourse on income inequality.

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