University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Kaylee T. Johnson

Professional Title: 

Doctoral Candidate, Teaching Associate, Research Assistant


Machmer E-23



B.A., Stonehill College


My interests are within the fields of American Government and Political Communication. dissertation project problematizes the middle class identity, focusing on whether the identity is racialized. I explore to what extent politicians leverage the identity to discuss policy positions and proposals, and citizens’ potentially racialized reactions to hearing a middle class appeal. I contend that the middle class trope is problematic: due to its inherent ambiguity, politicians can harness the identity to support ideologically diverse objectives, and an use it to appeal, in a subtle fashion, to white citizens’ racial biases. My other research interests include political communication, women’s political behavior, and the intersection of rhetoric and public policy.

Please feel free to look at my work on my website: ​

Additionally,  I am the graduate student administrator for UMass Women Into Leadership (UWiL), a professional development workshop, networking opportunity, and departmental course. More information about the program may be found at the UWiL website.

Curriculum Vitae: 

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  • Political Science