Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Disentangling the Welfare Puzzle: Framing Effects on Public Attitudes toward SNAP
Kunpeng Wang, Ph.D

Different media outlets can frame the same news story in different ways. This article examines how media framing affects public attitudes toward one of the largest public assistance programs in the U.S.- the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). I conduct a survey experiment to test how the perceived race or ethnicity of a SNAP recipient and the tone of the news influence survey respondents’ opinions. The results of the study show that the tone of a news story does not exert any influence on public attitudes toward SNAP, but the ethnicity of a SNAP recipient affects public attitudes toward SNAP. The implication of the findings is that racial prejudice still affects how the public think about a welfare program and its recipients. It exerts an influence on a public policy’s development and the policy-making process.

Full Text: PDF