Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Fall 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

School of Communication Studies

Advisor(s)

Alison Bodkin

Sharon Mazzarella

John Butt

Abstract

On August 6th, 2019 one of the biggest names in the equestrian community, George Morris, was barred from the sport for life based on sexual assault allegations. I have conducted a Social Constructionist discourse analysis of the online responses to this case. Overarching themes exposed flaws in the hegemonic ideals of both the sports world and American culture in its entirety. As the case continues to develop every day, I have adapted my research to reflect new findings and have found that Deflection, Bolstering, and Reflection have emerged as the major themes of this discourse. This method allowed me to explore the complex and nuanced responses to public sexual assault scandals and the subsequent myriad of emotions that develop.

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