Augusta Scruggs Presents her Research at the Southern Sociological Society

In April, Sociology major Augusta Scruggs attended and presented her research at the Southern Sociological Society's annual conference in New Orleans, LA. Her research focused on an analysis of how police officers use TikTok for image management during times of public scrutiny. Augusta presented as a poster presentation and was well received. She also worked closely with Dr. Robert Freeland, Assistant Professor of Sociology, to complete the research. Below, you can read the abstract to learn about the research. Augusta received two grants from the Ann Louise Page Endowment for Excellence in Student Research and the Office of Student Research to support this research.

Abstract: Police officers have increasingly turned to social media platforms for image management and community outreach during times of public scrutiny. Most notably, the app TikTok has gained significant traction in the law enforcement community since the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in May 2020. Which sparked widespread protests and calls for police reform throughout the country. This was especially popular on TikTok, where slogans such as Defund the Police and ACAB (all cops are bastards) are trending. To combat the negative image surrounding law enforcement, a variety of police-related content that included their personal lives, support towards pro-police movements and aspects of their job flooded TikTok. This study analyzes law enforcement content on TikTok to advance our comprehension of how law enforcement employs social media as a strategic device in an ever-evolving digital landscape and its influence on public perceptions (Mumford, 2022).

Augusta Scruggs
Published: May 7, 2024 3:35pm