“Copaganda: The Entertainment Media Origins of Policing Attitudes in America,” Eunji Kim, Columbia University

Event time: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 - 12:00pm through 1:15pm
Institution for Social and Policy Studies (PROS77 ), A002
77 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Eunji Kim, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Columbia University
Event description: 


Abstract: Despite widespread evidence of police misconduct, most Americans continue to hold very favorable views toward law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Why? One potential explanation is the widespread consumption of police procedural television programs that tend to feature a dominant narrative: police officers are heroic figures who single-mindedly pursue justice, quell violent crime, protect the public from predators, and root out corruption in their own ranks. Using various national surveys and Nielsen data, we first establish the robust correlation between exposure to these shows and attitudes about policing. We then use survey experiments that include a preference-incorporating choice and assignment (PICA) design to probe the causal impact of entertainment media and the extent to which lived experiences moderate such media effects. We discuss the future plan for the field experiments in retirement houses in New Jersey and New York.

Eunji Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. She specializes in political communication and public opinion in American politics. Prior to joining Columbia University, she was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University. She received a joint Ph.D. in political science (Arts & Sciences) and communication (Annenberg) and an M.A. in statistics (Wharton) from the University of Pennsylvania. She received a B.A. in government from Harvard University.

Professor Kim’s research has been funded by Facebook (now Meta) as well as the Russell Sage Foundation. Her research has received several prizes, including the American Political Science Association’s Best Dissertation in Political Psychology Award, Best Article in Political Behavior Award, Paul Lazarsfeld Best Paper Award, Wilson Carey McWilliams Best Paper Award; International Communication Association’s Kaid-Sanders Best Political Communication Article Award; the International Society of Political Psychology’s Roberta Sigel Early Career Scholar Paper Award.

Her work has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Political Behavior, Political Psychology, International Organization, Research & Politics, and Quarterly Journal of Political Science.

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