Utilizing the lens of feminist theory, this research examines gender representation in the political memes of the 2016 Presidential election in the United States. Using a mixed-methods approach, I first examine the use of the #election2016 on Twitter (N = 2,108) through a network analysis to understand the driving actors of discourse surrounding the election. A textual analysis was used to examine the views and opinions through the vocabulary and terms utilized within that network. Finally, a content analysis was conducted to interpret the latent messages and representations of gender within the memes (n = 100). Results show that political memes maintain stereotypical gender representation in the discourse and the memes themselves. While a congruency was identified between network’s discourses on Twitter and messages of the memes related to the 2016 presidential election, there was no congruency between the visual and textual messages within the memes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Presidents--United States--Election--2016; Communication in politics--United States; Mass media--Political aspects--United States; Sex role in mass media

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Communication and Media Technologies (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Communication (CLA)


Ammina Kothari

Advisor/Committee Member

Allison Rowland

Advisor/Committee Member

Grant Cos


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes