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Antoinette Pole

Associate Professor, Political Science and Law

Dickson Hall 206
BA, SUNY, College at Oswego
PhD, CUNY, Graduate School & University Center
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Antoinette Pole is an Associate Professor of Political Science & Law at Montclair State University. She studies the intersection of information technology and politics, exploring theoretical questions related to representation and political participation. Professor Pole has authored a book on blogs titled, Blogging the Political: Politics and Participation in a Networked Society (Routledge, 2010)and coauthored, New York Politics: A Tale to Two States, Second Edition (ME Sharpe, 2010). Her work appears in peer-reviewed journals such as New Media & Society, Health Education & Behavior, British Food Journal, Journal of Agriculture and Human Values, Public Choice, American Journal Public Health, and the Journal of Health Communication. Currently, Professor Pole's research focuses on the intersection of food and politics with research on craft beer, competitive foods in schools, and Community Supported Agriculture.


-new media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs)
-craft beer
-competitive food in schools
-community supported agriculture
-New York state politics


Office Hours


9:25 am - 9:55 am
1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
9:25 am - 9:55 am
12:45 pm - 2:15 pm


Research Projects

Understanding variations in User Response to Social Media Campaigns: A Study of Facebook Posts in the 2010 US Elections

Political candidates increasingly have incorporated social media tools like Facebook into their campaigns. Such tools enable supporters to interact directly and easily with campaigns, creating an immediate and relatively informal way for users to respond to candidate messages and publicly display their support. Previous research has explored how campaigns have used social media, or how the use of social media may be related to political engagement. In this study, we provide a systematic analysis of variations in user response to candidate messaging through Facebook. Our results shed new light on the dynamics of online campaigning through social media and engagement with supporters through digital media. Specifically, our findings show that variations in the tone, timing, and content of posts, as distinct from contextual factors, are significantly related to how users respond through “likes” and comments.

Segmenting CSA Members by Motivation: Anything but Two Peas in a Pod

The purpose of this paper is to seek to segment CSA members based on their motivations to join a CSA.

Data obtained from an online survey of 565 members belonging to a New York state CSA were analyzed using a combined hierarchical and non-hierarchical cluster analysis.

Based on their motivations to join a CSA results reveal four distinct types of segments among CSA members: No-Frills Member, Foodie Member, Nonchalant Member, and Quintessential Member. Results show all four clusters differ statistically across demographic characteristics including gender, political affiliation, and household income. The clusters differed across psychographic characteristics such as attitudes toward the treatment of animals, treatment of farm workers, pesticide use, the environment, food miles, and limiting factory farm purchases. Quintessential Members emerge as most concerned with food purchasing decisions while No-Frills Members are least concerned.

Research limitations/implications:
The study employs a non-random purposive sample of CSAs in New York state. Respondents were recruited indirectly to participate in an online survey. The length and complexity of the survey, absence of an email address for respondents, levels of digital fluency, and technical glitches may result in lower participation rates.

Practical implications:
This paper offers recommendations to farmers for retaining and attracting different types of CSA members.

This is the first study that segments CSA members in the USA based on their motivations to subscribe to a CSA, and it differentiates CSA member clusters based on their demographics, psychographics, and food purchasing decisions.

USA, Consumer perceptions, Consumer purchasing decisions, Cluster analysis

Life and Death in the Mental-Health Blogosphere: An Analysis of Blog Content and Survival

The purpose of this study was to describe a sample of mental-health blogs, to determine the proportion of sampled blogs still posting several years after identification, and to identify the correlates of survival. One hundred eighty-eight mental-health blogs were identified in 2007–08 and revisited in 2014. Eligible blogs were U.S.-based, in English, and active. Baseline characteristics and survival status were described and variation based on blog focus and survival examined. Mental-health bloggers tended to be females blogging as patients and caregivers focusing on specific mental illnesses/conditions. The proportion of blogs still active at follow-up ranged from 25.5 percent to 30.3 percent depending on the definition of survival employed. Factors associated with survival included sponsorship/advertising and assumption of a professional/caregiving rather than patient/consumer perspective. Because professionally authored blogs with sponsorship/advertising tend to be longer lived, they may have disproportionate impact on the help-seeking behavior of individuals referred to them by search engine results. This suggests the need to promulgate and adhere to rules governing disclosure of real or perceived conflicts of interest, particularly given the growing use of industry paid/driven content.

"Farming Alone? What's Up with the C in Community Supported Agriculture" by Antoinette Pole, Montclair State University and Margaret Gray, Adelphi University

This study reconsiders the purported benefits of community found in community supported agriculture (CSA). Using an online survey of members who belong to CSAs in New York state, between November and December 2010, we assess members' reasons for joining a CSA, and their perceptions of community within their CSA and beyond. A total of 565 CSA members responded to the survey.

Results show an overwhelming majority of members joined their CSA for fresh, local, organic produce, while few respondents joined their CSA to build community, meet like-minded individuals or share financial risk with farmers. Members reported that they do not derive a strong sense of community from either their CSA or other forms of community, yet they volunteered at their CSA and appear to be engaged in activities within their communities, though the frequency of the latter is unknown. These data suggest New York CSAs appear to be oriented toward the instrumental and functional models, which emphasize the economic aspects of farming rather than collaborative models, which foster community (Feagan and Henderson 2009).