Home Medizin Studie untersucht den Einfluss der Medien auf Paare

Studie untersucht den Einfluss der Medien auf Paare

von NFI Redaktion

According to an estimate, up to 30% of people in the United States are in romantic relationships with partners who do not share their political views. How do couples with different political perspectives navigate today’s bipartisan climate, where Democrats and Republicans struggle to communicate and have differing opinions about the credibility of the media, when choosing which media to follow? And how do these decisions impact their discussions on political topics and their relationship in general? Study: News Negotiation: How Cross-Partisan Romantic Partners Select, Consume, and Discuss News

To explore these questions, communication professor Emily Van Duyn from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign conducted in-depth interviews with 67 individuals whose partners held different political views from their own. For these couples, seemingly mundane decisions about media consumption had become „particularly challenging,“ said Van Duyn. „Their cross-partisan political views presented these couples with many challenges,“ said Van Duyn. „The decision of which media to consume and whether to do so together or separately was difficult because it forced them to acknowledge their political differences and find a way to navigate them.“

„They saw the news as inherently political, and their choice of a news agency or sharing an article or video meant they were intentionally prompting their partner to acknowledge their political differences.“

The coverage sparked disagreements between partners that would not have otherwise emerged, triggering both conflict and discussions. Conflicts arose in different ways, including disagreements about news sources and content, but also when one person did not react as strongly as their partner when sharing news they found disturbing or alarming, Van Duyn said. Due to their partners‘ different political beliefs and/or identities, there was a need for them to influence or negotiate their news consumption, a process Van Duyn calls „negotiated exposure,“ which plays out in public-facing media like television and more private media like social media. This process and the resulting interpersonal conflict „often worked hand in hand to reinforce each other and influence the relationship,“ Van Duyn said. „Conflicts over news consumption often led individuals to seek greater control over their news presence, a reinforcing process that highlights the tangled order of how individuals navigate news and relationships in today’s democracy.“

Van Duyn chose to interview only one partner from each couple to make participants feel comfortable speaking freely, without fear of impacting their relationship or feeling restricted by their partner’s views. To protect the privacy of the participants, recruited through social media advertisements, pseudonyms were used in the study. Of the participants, 39 were female, 27 were male, and one was identified as non-binary. Most were in different-gendered relationships and had been in their current relationship for more than two years. The majority (42) of participants were white, 11 were Black, three were Hispanic, and 11 were Asian.

A 46-year-old woman from Virginia, identified as „Wendy“ in the study, was a Donald Trump-supporting Republican whose two-year boyfriend was a Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton. Wendy said she and her partner compromised on which news programs to watch on television, with Wendy taking control of the programming in the mornings, and her boyfriend’s preferences taking precedence in the afternoons. As the couple strongly disagreed about then-President Trump, watching the news together caused tensions, especially when Wendy felt there was too much negative coverage of Trump and wanted to avoid it. Furthermore, negative news about Trump made Wendy susceptible to her partner’s criticism of her preferred candidate and herself.

Some couples sought a common media channel they could agree on to watch together, while others deliberately chose to consume news independently, whether in separate rooms or by scrolling through their social media feeds on separate devices in each other’s company. According to the study, other individuals looked for ways to consume news with their partners that had resolved their differences, using private news media. Nancy, a 49-year-old woman from Michigan who switched from being a Republican to a Democrat in 2016 and 2020, said her husband was a Trump supporter with political beliefs she referred to as „diametrically opposed“ to her own. The news was a significant source of conflict between them, as was Nancy’s ideological shift, which her husband attributed to watching CNN. Nancy, who worked from home, secretly watched CNN during the day when her husband was away, and also kept her political activities—she worked as an SMS banker for the Democratic Party during the 2020 elections—a secret.

„The point in their relationship where the couples‘ political differences came to light influenced how partners negotiated news with each other,“ Van Duyn said. „While some were aware of their ideological differences at the beginning of the relationship, others found that their shared tradition of watching the news together in a friendly manner was disrupted as their partner’s views or party affiliation changed. Negotiating news selection in cross-partisan relationships involved both a negotiation of political identity and coverage.“

As the news began to negatively impact some participants and their relationships, these couples chose to avoid the news altogether and stop exchanging articles or videos with each other, as this sparked tensions that compromised their emotional intimacy. Van Duyn said some of those who chose to avoid the news cited increased conflict in their relationship or mental health issues such as anxiety. The study, published in the journal Political Communication, was funded by the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University.
Source: Journal reference:

Related Posts

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.