Academic Research

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Research

I work in the areas of political communication and journalism studies. I examine how political actors communicate with the public and how the media represents such actors. I have three areas of particular focus - how minor political voices attempt to transmit their message, the role of religion in political messaging, and the impact of contentious politics and communication on civic life. I use mixed methods with an emphasis on content analysis, in-depth interviewing and ethnography.

Peer-reviewed journal articles:

Suk, J., Shah, D., Cramer, K., Friedland, L., Hughes, C., Wagner, M. & Wells, C. (forthcoming). Do improving conditions harden partisan preferences? Communication, context, and political evaluations during periods of contention.  International Journal of Public Opinion Research. 


Hughes, C. (2019) Debatable sphere: major party hegemony, minor party marginalization in the UK leaders’ debate. Communication and the Public. 4 (3): 189-203. doi: 10.1177/2057047319875863


Hughes, C. (2019) It’s the EU immigrants stupid! UKIP’s core-issue and populist rhetoric on the road to Brexit. European Journal of Communication. doi: 10.1177/0267323119830050 


Hughes, C. (2019) The God card: Strategic employment of religious language in U.S. presidential discourse. International Journal of Communication. https://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/8484/2547


Hughes, C. (2016) It’s not easy (not) being green: Agenda dissonance of Green

Party press relations and newspaper coverage. European Journal of Communication. 31 (6): 625-41. doi: 10.1177/0267323116669454 


Peer-reviewed conference papers:

Wells, C.†, Friedland, L., Hughes, C., Suk, J., Wagner, M. & Shah, D. (2019) Integrating the social geography of the lifeworld into the study of media use and opinion formation. International Journal of Press/Politics Conference, Loughborough, UK, September 2019. † - presenter


Hughes, C. (2019) When Pat met Donald: Christian Broadcasting News and the interpretation of Trump. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Toronto, Canada, August 2019.

 

Hughes, C. (2019) Thou art in a deal: the evolution of religious language in the public communications of Donald Trump. International Communication Association (ICA) Conference, Washington D.C., May 2019

 

Hughes, C. (2018)  Debatable sphere: major party hegemony, minor party marginalization in the UK Leaders’ debate. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Washington D.C. August 6-9 2018   (2nd place – best graduate student paper. Political Communication Interest Group) 


Hughes, C. (2018) The God card: Strategic employment of religious language in U.S. presidential discourse.  Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Washington D.C. August 6-9 2018  (2nd place – best graduate student paper, Religion and Media Interest Group) 


Hughes, C. (2018) It’s the EU immigrants stupid! UKIP’s core-issue and populist rhetoric on the road to Brexit. International Communication Association Conference, Prague, Czech Republic, May 24-28 2018. 


Hughes, C. (2018) “We're not whores, that's why we're poor”: antipartyism, Fundi-Realo positioning and the Frowland Green Party. Chicago Ethnography Conference, Chicago, Il, March 17 2018 


Hughes, C. (2017) God on our side: Presidential Religious Rhetoric, Issue Ownership and Competing Gospels. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Chicago, Il, August 8-12 2017. 


Hughes, C. (2017) Anti-Europe, anti-immigrant and anti-party: UKIP rhetoric and the road to Brexit. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Chicago, Il, August 8-12 2017. 


Li, J. †, Conathan, D. & Hughes, C. (2017) Rethinking Emotional Desensitization to Violence: Methodological and Theoretical Insights from Social Media Data. International Conference on Social Media & Society, Toronto, Canada, Jul 28-30 2017. † - presenter 


Hughes, C. (2016) Not agreeing with Nat: major party hegemony, minor party marginalization in the UK Election debate. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, August 3-7 2016. 

Work in progress:

Hughes, C.  It’s not easy being green, white, red and blue: constituency representations versus electoral competition in the Wisconsin Green Party. Under review.

 

Hughes, C. Thou art in a deal: the evolution of religious language in the public communications of Donald Trump. Under review.


Hughes, C. Christian Broadcasting Network and the interpretation of Donald Trump. Data collection (content analysis).


Hughes, C. Your name’s not down, you’re not coming in: gatekeeping barriers to minor political parties. Data collection (interviews).


Communication Ecologies, Political Contention, and Democratic Crisis working group (PIs: Cramer, K., Shah, D., Friedland, L., Wagner, M., Wells, C., Sathares, W., Rohe, K.) Paper series on communication and politics in the state of Wisconsin. 

  

Wells, C., Friedland, L., Hughes, C., Shah, D, Suk, J. & Wagner, M. News media use, talk networks and 'populist' attitudes across geographic location: The case of Wisconsin. Under review.


Foley, J., Hughes, C., Wagner, M., Friedland, L., Suk, J. & Shah, D. Free and Fair? The Differential Experiences of Administrative Burdens, Voting Barriers and Voting Policies in American Midterm Elections. Preparing for submission.

  

Foley, J., Wagner, M., Lukito, J., Hughes, C., Suk, J., Friedland, L. & Shah, D. Do Conspiracy Theories “Find Me?”: How Communication Ecologies, Information Seeking preferences and Racial Resentment Fuel Conspiratorial Thinking. Preparing for submission.




Ethnographic fieldwork and interviewing with the Wisconsin Green Party took place from August 2016 to December 2018. 

Public outreach

What Makes Wisconsin Swing? Vox, 2019. https://www.vox.com/mischiefs-of-faction/2019/3/29/18286836/wisconsin-swing-vote-democratic-primary


UW-Madison Communication and Civic Renewal team want nonpartisan redistricting and a voice for political minorities, Capital Times, 2019. https://madison.com/ct/opinion/column/uw-madison-communication-and-civic-renewal-research-team-wisconsinites-want/article_8ea66d6a-b19f-5a55-bd2d-b8cb0cf984e4.html