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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: Communication Studies
This Isn't About Me: Communication Privacy Management Theory and Public Confession

This Isn't About Me: Communication Privacy Management Theory and Public Confession

Date: May 2013
Creator: Brittain, Kära Ann Caskey
Description: Individuals at the DFW Church publicly confess intensely personal information, such as drug and alcohol addiction, spousal and child abuse, stripping, and sexual abuse. Using communication privacy management theory (CPM), I examined the way individuals at the DFW Church manage their private information, how they make disclosure decisions, and how they manage boundaries around their private information. I interviewed 13 individuals who participated in public confession, and coded their responses to identify the common themes and tactics for making disclosure decisions. Through this process, I pioneer the application of CPM to examine public disclosure events, rather than dyadic or small group disclosures. I also expand our current understanding of motivations for disclosure; rather than focusing on selfish or therapeutic motivations, participants want to encourage others through their disclosure. In terms of boundary management, individuals at the DFW Church believe that God owns part, or all, of their information; thus, disclosing their pasts is "not about them." Participants construct a new identity through their testimony narrative, effectively putting the old person in the past and presenting a new, Christian identity to the church body for group approval. In this context, confessing a negative behavior becomes a way to build a positive ...
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"Where Do We Go From Here?" Teaching a Generation of  Nclb Students in College Classrooms

"Where Do We Go From Here?" Teaching a Generation of Nclb Students in College Classrooms

Date: May 2013
Creator: Lovoll, Andrea K.
Description: Since the passing of No Child Left Behind Act in 2001, the United States' secondary education system has undergone significant changes. In this study, I discuss the ways in which the law has encouraged the normalization of standardized testing and aim to answer two primary research questions. RQ1: What do college students and their instructors identify as the key challenges that arise as students educated under NCLB begin college coursework, and how does each group address these challenges? RQ2: What strategies do the actors and spect-actors in a Forum Theatre production arrive at for addressing the challenges faced by college instructors and their students who have completed their secondary education under No Child Left Behind? To answer the initial research question, I conducted focus group interviews with instructors and students at the University of North Texas to understand the challenges each faces in the classroom. To answer the second research question, I compiled narratives from the focus group interviews along with other materials into a performance script that concluded with scenarios based in Augusto Boal's Forum Theatre techniques. In live performance events audience members rehearsed strategies for addressing the challenges that instructors and students face in classrooms through performance. Following ...
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Connecting the Circuit:  Analyzing Jurors' Cognitive Gaps and Damage Awards in Patent Infringement Trials

Connecting the Circuit: Analyzing Jurors' Cognitive Gaps and Damage Awards in Patent Infringement Trials

Date: May 2013
Creator: Drescher, L. Hailey
Description: Patent litigation is notorious for the technicality of evidence and the rhetoric of experts. Citizens selected to serve on the jury have no specialized training and have rarely been exposed to the technology or the patent process. This study provides insight into the field of jury decision-making in complex patent cases by analyzing the cognitive gaps and the tactics used by jurors to minimize them. Additionally, the study examines the justifications for the damage awards jurors provide. This analysis focused on jurors engaged in mock trial patent deliberations. The story model and sensemaking theory serve as the theoretical framework of this research and provide a structure for support and a lens for analysis. The results indicate that jurors rely on three distinct and dichotomous topologies when navigating cognitive gaps. Searching for answers either individually or as a group, relying on lists or stories, and turning to facts or emotions, jurors navigate through their uncertainty. Through the line-by-line analysis of mock jury transcriptions, three continuums regarding damage justifications emerged. Jury members found themselves navigating uncertainty versus certainty, rationality versus irrationality, and facts versus emotions. The theoretical implications broaden the story model to include cognitive gaps in all phases and increase the ...
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Staying Connected: Technology Use in Grandparent-grandchild Relationships

Staying Connected: Technology Use in Grandparent-grandchild Relationships

Date: December 2012
Creator: Novak, Hannah R.
Description: Despite the distance that often separates grandparents from their young adult grandchildren, the abundance of new technologies provides numerous means of connection for the grandparent-grandchild (GP-GC) dyad. The purpose of this study was to understand how grandparents use technology, namely text messaging and Facebook, in relationships with their young adult grandchildren. Specifically, the aim was to understand grandparents' purposes for using these technologies with their grandchildren, their motivations for using these technologies, and their perceptions of these technologies. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 23 grandparent participants and analyzed according to the procedures delineated in grounded theory analysis. Both text messaging and Facebook emerged as important tools for connection, as text messaging encourages more frequent communication and Facebook helps grandparents "fill in the gaps" about their grandchildren's lives. Furthermore, results indicated that grandparents' uses of text messaging, and to a lesser extent Facebook, are acts of accommodation to their grandchildren.
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Booty Calls, Rage, and Racialized/sexualized Subjects: Tmz's Coverage of Rihanna and Chris Brown

Booty Calls, Rage, and Racialized/sexualized Subjects: Tmz's Coverage of Rihanna and Chris Brown

Date: August 2011
Creator: Sabino, Lauren
Description: Internet-based celebrity gossip blog site, TMZ, is a growing cultural force. Employing critical rhetorical analytics, the author examines the TMZ coverage of Chris Brown's assault on his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. This project explicates TMZ's enthymematic invocation of dominant cultural ideologies surrounding race, sex, and domestic violence. Chapter 1 demonstrates the theoretical importance of both celebrities and gossip blogs, signaling the ideological importance of each. Chapter 2 critiques TMZ's reliance on historic myths regarding sex and race in their reporting on this case. Chapter 3 analyzes TMZ's humorous and affective strategies that bolster broader investments in colorblind ideologies. Chapter 4 concludes by examining the interplay of formal rhetorical elements that inform the project's findings. This research reveals that TMZ utilizes affective, enthymematic strategies that camouflage broader racist and sexist ideological impulses that perpetuate domestic violence myths.
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The Myth of Emmetropia: Perception in Rhetorical Studies

The Myth of Emmetropia: Perception in Rhetorical Studies

Date: August 2012
Creator: Kaszynski, Elizabeth
Description: This thesis sets up the problem of sight in a visual society, with the aim to answer how the visual makes itself known. The conversation starts on visuality, and where there are gaps in understanding. The first of two case studies examines the absence of sight, or blindness, both literal and figurative. Through a study of blind photographers and their work, this chapter examines the nature of perception, and how biological blindness may influence and inform our understanding of figurative blindness. The second case study examines what the improvement of damaged sight has to say about the rhetorical nature of images. This chapter examines various means of improving sight, using literal improvements to sight to understand figurative improvements in vision and perception. The fourth and final chapter seeks to sum up what has been discovered about the rhetorical nature of sight through the ends of the spectrum of sight.
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Who Knows Their Bedroom Secrets? Communication Privacy Management in Couples Who Swing

Who Knows Their Bedroom Secrets? Communication Privacy Management in Couples Who Swing

Date: August 2012
Creator: Sova, Melodee Lynn
Description: Swinging is a lifestyle choice where members of a couple seek out other couples or sometimes singles, with whom to engage in sexual activity. Swinging is a lifestyle associated with the 1960s and 1970s, but Americans still engage in swinging activities today. Because of stigmas associated with this practice, swinging couples often keep their lifestyle concealed from family and friends. These couples have a unique lifestyle that requires strong communication and boundary management styles. Scholars use communication privacy management theory to examine how individuals or couples disclose private information and how this private information is then co-owned by both parties. The purpose of this study was to understand whom swinging couples disclose their lifestyle to, and what risks the couple experienced from the disclosures. The swingers disclosed to friends in most cases and were concerned about risks of stigma, privacy, and relationship termination. In this exploratory study I showed that swingers’ privacy management seems to align with the components of CPM in concealing or revealing their lifestyle to others. However the findings also indicate that swingers utilize self-disclosure for recruitment into the lifestyle, and that the disclosures seem to be more spontaneous then strategic. Future research should look further into ...
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Adoptive Parenthood: an Exploratory Study of the Influence of Pre-adoption Communication Satisfaction on Post-adoption Family Adjustment and Coping

Adoptive Parenthood: an Exploratory Study of the Influence of Pre-adoption Communication Satisfaction on Post-adoption Family Adjustment and Coping

Date: May 2012
Creator: Seebeck, Lara N.
Description: There are over a million adopted children in the United States, which makes up over 2% of the population. in spite of the fact that the majority of children are adopted into loving and caring homes, early life trauma puts them at higher risk for developing behavioral and emotional problems than non-adopted children. Due to these issues, many adoptive parents encounter post-adoption stress. This stress is often linked to minimal education regarding short- and long-term challenges associated with adoption. the adoption agency is likely the best group for addressing challenges, yet few researchers have studied adoption agency communication and adoptive parent adjustment. in this study I examined pre-adoption communication satisfaction, post-adoption adjustment (life change and parental adjustment), and coping strategies. Hypothesis 1 questioned the relationship between adoptive parents’ pre-adoption communication satisfaction with their social workers and post-adoption family adjustment; this hypothesis was supported only for problems related to home and work life adjustment. Hypothesis 2 predicted coping strategies would mediate the relationship between communication satisfaction and family adjustment. H2 was not supported for both life change and parental adjustment. Research Questions 1a and 1b inquired about the coping strategy that had an impact on life change and parental adjustment; escape-avoidance ...
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The Relationships Among Whistle-blowing, Retaliation, and Identity: a Narrative Analysis

The Relationships Among Whistle-blowing, Retaliation, and Identity: a Narrative Analysis

Date: May 2012
Creator: Gravley, Dianne Yvonne
Description: Existing whistle-blower research has found that retaliation affects the whistle-blowing process. However, there is little literature focusing on the personal and emotional effects that retaliation can have on the whistle-blower’s life. Furthermore, while whistle-blowing has been studied in various organizational contexts, both public and private, virtually no research exists on whistle-blowing in the context of the public school system. This study examines the effects of the whistle-blowing process, specifically the effects of retaliation, on the life of the whistle-blower through a narrative identity construct in the context of the Texas Public School System. This study utilizes narrative analysis to understand the relationship between retaliation and the whistle-blowers’ narrative identity. the analysis reveals that whistle-blowers’ decisions to disclose instances of wrong-doing are motivated by their desired narrative identities. Furthermore, this study shows that retaliation has the greatest effect when it directly attacks the whistle-blowers’ identities.
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Teaching Past the Test: a Pedagogy of Critical Pragmatism

Teaching Past the Test: a Pedagogy of Critical Pragmatism

Date: May 2012
Creator: Jordan, Jason
Description: Existent scholarship in communication studies has failed to adequately address the particular pedagogical context of current public secondary education within the United States. While communication studies has produced a great deal of scholarship centered within the framework of critical pedagogy, these efforts fail to offer public high school teachers in the U.S. a tenable alternative to standardized constructs of educational communication. This thesis addresses the need for a workable, critical pedagogy in this particular educational context as a specific question of educational communication. a theorization of pedagogical action drawing from critical pedagogy, pragmatism, and communication studies termed “critical pragmatism” is offered as an effective, critical counter point to current neoliberal classroom practices in U.S. public secondary schools.
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