Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Cindy Blackwell, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Mass Communication and Journalism

Abstract

This research used content analysis to examine how significant events within the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer that were well documented in journals, news articles and other mediums can be viewed as public relations strategies and tactics using the Social Change Model of Leadership (SCM). This research answers how these events can be explained through the SCM as individual, group, and community values. The SCM has not been associated with public relations strategies and tactics before this research was conducted, however social change is commonly seen in public relations efforts as both SCM and public relations seek to influence publics to effect change. It is understood that the best way to approach content analysis is to form a research question, create a system of coding or “recording units”, and then lastly decide on a sampling strategy. Often coding includes recoding common phrases, words, ideas, or themes, and for the purpose of this research, coding follows the SCM framework. In order for the information to be replicated, the sample must be large enough to permit certain conclusions about the data. Specific conclusions can be drawn, and for the purpose of this study, could indicate the efforts of individuals, groups, and communities in their determinations to seek social change during Freedom Summer.

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