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I’m Kaylee Johnson, a doctoral candidate, research assistant, and teaching assistant in the Department of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Welcome!

My dissertation project explores the ostensibly popular, inclusive, and race-neutral middle class identity, focusing on the extent to which it is racialized. I contend that the middle class identity is exclusive on the basis of race. Media depictions of the middle class as White help to shape and this racialization, which manifests in citizens implicitly associating the middle class identity with Whiteness and stark racial differences in middle class identification. As such, what appears to be an inclusive, catch-all identity racially restrictive and the middle class trope problematic.

I have been published in Political Behavior, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Presidential Studies Quarterly. I have also served as a fellow on UMass Poll. My other research interests include political communication, women’s political behavior, and how elites communicate ideology with the public.