Political Scientists Collins, Rice and Rhodes Receive NSF Funding to Study Law and Legality in LGBTQ+ Media

Paul Collins
Paul Collins

A team of UMass Amherst researchers from the department of political science and the legal studies program have been awarded a three-year, $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Law and Science Program to study law and legality in LGBTQ+ media.

The investigators will work with a diverse team of graduate and undergraduate students to examine how legal issues rise and fall on the agendas of LGBTQ+ media, how the legal consciousness of the LGBTQ+ community develops over time, and how legal decisions influence public awareness and attitudes toward law and legal actors.

The team, led by principal investigator Paul Collins, professor of legal studies and political science, and including Douglas Rice, associate professor of legal studies and political science, and Jesse Rhodes, professor of political science, will also develop and release two large, comprehensive datasets of specialized media coverage.

Pilot work instrumental to this grant was supported by graduate student Chris Bailey and many undergraduate students through the university’s Undergraduate Research Experience Program.