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The discursive construction of superintendent statesmanship on Twitter

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Published: 2017-03-27

Author

Todd M. Hurst

University of Kentucky

Keywords: superintendency; politics; Twitter; social media; discursive psychology

Abstract

The modern school superintendent fulfills a unique role in the U.S. public education system. He or she is structurally empowered as the de facto head of the local educational system, thereby granted with a certain amount of trust and authority regarding educational issues. At the same time, the superintendent is, in most cases, an employee of a politically appointed school board. While norms have traditionally encouraged superintendents to use caution with respect to political discourse (Boyd, 1974), social media has created a new platform upon which they can reach a broad range of stakeholders regarding many issues, including politics. This study seeks to better understand the emerging practice of political discourse by superintendents on Twitter. Employing discursive psychology principles (Potter & Wetherell, 1992), I will analyze the political tweets of superintendents and position current practices in relation to established role conceptualizations of the position. Findings include that superintendents utilize Twitter as a tool to establish their positions as political insiders and as advocates for students.

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Author Biography

Todd M. Hurst

University of Kentucky

Todd M. Hurst is a doctoral candidate in Educational Sciences at the University of Kentucky in the School Technology Leadership program. His research interests include the intersection of technology, school leadership and politics.

 

PDF

Published: 2017-03-27

How to Cite

Hurst, T. M. (2017). The discursive construction of superintendent statesmanship on Twitter. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 29. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.25.2300