UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

Leadership Communication Among Kindergarten Children in a Structured Play Environment
This study examines the enactment of leadership communication during videotaped play sessions of thirty kindergarten children. Eighteen of the children demonstrated skills in a cluster of five specific leadership behaviors. All five coders agreed that these eighteen children were sometimes leaders of their individual triad. The coders further agreed that the leadership in the triads flowed from one child to another as the session progressed. The study concluded that leadership is a facilitative process that is fluid rather than statically centered in one or more participants.
Mediated chameleons: An integration of nonconscious behavioral mimicry and the parallel process model of nonverbal communication.
This study explored the state of art education in Turkey as revealed by pre-service art education university instructors, and the potential of incorporating visual culture studies in pre-service art education in Turkey. The instructors' ideas about visual culture, and popular culture, the impact it might have, the content (objects), and the practices within the context of Turkey were examined. Visual culture was examined from an art education perspective that focuses on a pedagogical approach that emphasizes the perception and critique of popular culture and everyday cultural experiences, and the analysis of media including television programs, computer games, Internet sites, and advertisements. A phenomenological human science approach was employed in order to develop a description of the perception of visual culture in pre-service art education in Turkey as lived by the participants. In-person interviews were used to collect the data from a purposive sample of 8 faculty members who offered undergraduate and graduate art education pedagogy, art history, and studio courses within four-year public universities. This empirical approach sought to obtain comprehensive descriptions of an experience through semi-structural interviews. These interviews employed open-ended questions to gather information about the following: their educational and professional background; their definitions of art education and art teacher education and what it means for them to teach pre-service art education; critical reflections on the educational system of Turkey; perceptions of visual and popular culture; and finally individual approaches to teaching art education. This study was conducted for the purpose of benefiting pre-service art teacher education in general and specifically in Turkey. It provided the rationale, the nature, and pedagogy of visual culture as well as the why and how of visual culture art education in the context of Turkey. Furthermore, it provided insights into the potential contribution of the concept of visual culture to the understanding ...
Protecting Patriarchy: an Historical/Critical Analysis of Promise Keepers, an All-Male Social Movement
The historical survey of social movements in the United States reveals that the movement is a rhetorical ground occupied by groups who have been marginalized by society. Today, however, the distinctions between those who are marginalized and those who are part of the establishment have become difficult to distinguish. This study considers the emergence of Promise Keepers, an all-male social movement, and the rhetorical themes that emerge from the group. This study identifies five rhetorical themes in Promise Keepers. These themes include asserting authority of men in the home and church, the creation of a new male identity, sports and war rhetoric, political rhetoric, and racial reconciliation. The implications of these themes are considered from a critical perspective and areas for future research are provided.
Protection or Equality? : A Feminist Analysis of Protective Labor Legislation in UAW v. Johnson Controls, Inc.
This study provides a feminist analysis of protective labor legislation in the Supreme Court case of UAW v. Johnson Controls, Inc. History of protection rhetoric and precedented cases leading up to UAW are provided. Using a feminist analysis, this study argues that the victory for women's labor rights in UAW is short lived, and the cycle of protection rhetoric continues with new pro-business agendas replacing traditional justifications for "protecting" women in the work place. The implications of this and other findings are discussed.
A Study of the Relationships among Teachers' Immediacy of Dress Factors and Affective Learning Factors: a Relational Communication Perspective
This thesis examined the relationships among immediacy of dress factors and affective learning factors as they pertain to relational communication. College students (N = 482) completed questionnaires indicating perceptions of selected nonverbal immediacy behaviors associated with their teacher's attire. The research predicted that there would be relationships between and among power and affinity of dress, dress immediacy and nonverbal immediacy. Further predictions were made concerning the associations among these variables, affective learning outcomes, and other teacher criteria. Analysis indicated that power of dress, affinity of dress and dress immediacy were viable nonverbal immediacy concepts which related to affective learning outcomes. Research findings indicated that certain instructor variables may also influence these relationships.
Faculty Identification: Effects on Culture in a Metropolitan Research University
This utilized identification theory to determine if faculty identify with the university and recognize its mission. The study also explored how faculty differentiate between a traditional university and a metropolitan research university. Finally, the study explored whether the faculty consider the University of North Texas to be a Metropolitan Research University. UNT full-time faculty members (N=224) completed questionnaires to indicate their identification with the university and their recognition of the university mission. Analysis showed that faculty have not come to a consensus on the definition of a MRU and that they do not identify with UNT.
"The Buck Stops With Me" : An Analysis of Janet Reno's Defensive Discourse in Response to the Branch Davidian Crisis
This study provides a genre analysis of Janet Reno's apologia in response to the Mt. Carmel disaster. Discussions of the events leading up to the crisis, Reno's rhetorical response, and relevant situational constraints and exigencies are provided.
The Differences in the Media Constructions of the Narratives of Male and Female Political Candidates
This study views the media as a powerful agent which constructs the narratives of political candidates. In order to determine whether the media constructs the narratives of male and female political candidates differently, newspaper articles were analyzed for two 1994 Congressional races, each involving a male and a female candidate (Thurman versus Garlits and Byrne versus Davis). The first research question posed the following question: Does the media devote more coverage to male or female candidates? The next question concerned media endorsements of the candidates. Third, the settings in which the media portrayed the male and female candidates were compared. Finally, differences in the media's attitude toward male and female candidates were analyzed.
Androgyny and Managerial Effectiveness in a Total Quality Management Organization
The majority of studies concerning psychological sex and management style have indicated that people consider the masculine style of managing to be the most popular. However, such studies are out of date and/or were usually measuring the perceptions of surveyed college students. Few studies have focused on successful managers in successful organizations. A modified version of the Bern Sex Role Inventory was distributed to 52 managers in a Total Quality Management organization. This study hypothesized that successful managers would be androgynous managers. The results of the study indicated that successful managers are androgynous managers, and that there is no significant difference in the number of female and male androgynous managers.
A Correlative Study of Gender and Social Style.
This study examines the concepts of social style and gender to determine if a relationship exists between the two constructs. The hypotheses suggested a direct relationship between the categories of the BSRI (masculine, feminine, androgynous, and undifferentiated) and the Social Style Analysis (driver, amiable, expressive, and analytical). Ninety-four participants completed two self-report surveys. Chi-square analysis performed on the data found a significant relationship between feminine and amiable as well as androgynous and expressive. While the analysis suggested that masculine/driver and undifferentiated/analytical were not independent, the relationship found was not significant.
Cyberbullying: When Bullies Follow You Home.
Researchers have studied adolescent bullying behavior since the 1970s, however, today's technological advances have opened the door to a new form of abuse. Teens can no longer escape the wrath of their bullies once they have left the school grounds, because bullies are following them home. Cyberbullying is a new phenomenon in which bullies use computer-mediated communication (CMC) to torment their victims. This research project focused on uncovering some of the mysteries surrounding this new means of bullying. A grounded theory analysis of stories written by victims revealed cyberbullies often use synchronous chat tools, e-mail, web sites, and cell phone text messages to reach their victims. Data analysis also revealed victims use of contextualization, descriptions of their bullying episodes, and discussions of their responses and outcomes to characterize their experiences. Interestingly, the researcher found victims of cyberbullying generally were also victims off face-to-face bullying as well.
The Power of the Servant Teacher
An instructor's power in the classroom is constructed and sustained through communication. The aim here is to examine how a teacher's power can be negotiated through a lens of servant leadership in hopes of furthering modes in which communication scholars can train future teachers to utilize their power in the classroom. I hypothesize that a teacher utilizing a servant leadership framework employs more pro-social behavioral alteration techniques (BATs). Participants were asked to answer an online survey with questions regarding a chosen instructor's attributes of servant leadership and behavioral alteration messages (BAMs). My hypothesis was partially supported in that that are perceived to use persuasive mapping a specific dimension of servant leadership engage in significantly more pro-social BATs; however, instructors with higher levels of emotional healing engage in significantly more anti-social BATs. Additionally, the gender of the participant and rank of the instructor evaluated influenced students' perceptions of compliance-gaining strategies. The discussion examines the specific dimensions of servant leadership as they relate to power and explores future directions for research examining professional development and training for future faculty and the need to examine gender of participant and instructors with an experimental research design.
Tracing the Evolution of Collaborative Virtual Research Environments: A Critical Events-Based Perspective
A significant number of scientific projects pursuing large scale, complex investigations involve dispersed research teams, which conduct a large part or their work virtually. Virtual Research Environments (VREs), cyberinfrastructure that facilitates coordinated activities amongst dispersed scientists, thus provide a rich context to study organizational evolution. Due to the constantly evolving nature of technologies, it is important to understand how teams of scientists, system developers, and managers respond to critical incidents. Critical events are organizational situations that trigger strategic decision making to adjust structure or redirect processes in order to maintain balance or improve an already functioning system. This study examines two prominent VREs: The United States Virtual Astronomical Observatory (US-VAO) and the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) in order to understand how these environments evolve through critical events and strategic choices. Communication perspectives lend themselves well to a study of VRE development and evolution because of the central role occupied by communication technologies in both the functionality and management of VREs. Using the grounded theory approach, this study uses organizational reports to trace how critical events and their resulting strategic choices shape these organizations over time. The study also explores how disciplinary demands influence critical events.
Deleuze, Femininity and the Specter of Poststructural Politics: Variations on the Materiality of Rhetoric
In this thesis I rethink the materiality of rhetoric in a minor key. I review poststructural and psychoanalytic endeavors to position rhetoric from within the postmodern and poststructural critique of the subject. I move beyond the logic of influence (dependent on a flawed conception of object) and hermeneutics (the correspondingly flawed methodology). In this endeavor, I primarily enlist Deleuze and Guattari (1987) for a conceptual apparatus that enlivens the "thinness" of rhetoric's (neo)Aristotelian conceptual design (cf. Gaonkar, 1997a, 1997b). I offer Monster (2003) as a case study, analyzing the discursive expression of nondiscursive abstract machines to draw out the reterritorializations of the latter. Recognizing the impossibility of complete reterritorialization I map one artifact that reinvests difference in itself, Dancer in the Dark (2000). Finally, in the epilogue I provide a brief recapitulation of minor politics, and offer a summarization of the utility of rhetoric.
Effects of Receiver Locus of Control and Interaction Involvement on the Interpretation of Service Complaints
This thesis examined how receivers who vary in Interaction Involvement and Locus of Control (LOC) might differ in their interpretations of service complaints. Locus of control was measured using Rotter's (1966) LOC scale, while Interaction Involvement was measured with Cegala's (1984) Interaction Involvement measure, including a separate assessment of the effects for each sub-scale. Individuals were assigned to four groups based on their Interaction Involvement and LOC scores. The groups were compared with one-another for differences in how complaints were interpreted. Four complaint categories and a corresponding scale were developed to measure these differences. The categories were Subject, Goal, Opportunity, and Accountability. Interaction Involvement was expected to affect how receivers interpret the subject and goal of a complaint, while LOC was predicted to affect understanding of the opportunity and accountability aspects. Two research questions explored possible relationships between the complaint categories and the independent variables for individuals within each group. The study's four hypotheses were not supported, although some evidence was found for a significant relationship between receiver Interaction Involvement and perceived complainant Opportunity, for External LOC individuals only.
A Narrative Analysis of Korematsu v. United States
This thesis studies the Supreme Court decision, Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944) and its historical context, using a narrative perspective and reviewing aspects of narrative viewpoints with reference to legal studies in order to introduce the present study as a method of assessing narratives in legal settings. The study reviews the Supreme Court decision to reveal its arguments and focuses on the context of the case through the presentation of the public story, the institutional story, and the ethnic Japanese story, which are analyzed using Walter Fisher's narrative perspective. The study concludes that the narrative paradigm is useful for assessing stories in the law because it enables the critic to examine both the emotional and logical reasoning that determine the outcomes of the cases.
Performing "Camp, Vamp & Femme Fatale": Revisiting, Reinventing & Retelling the Lives of Post-Death, Retro-Gothic Women
This thesis examines the production process for "Camp, Vamp and Femme Fatale," performed at the University of North Texas in April of 1997. The first chapter applies Henry Jenkins's theory of textual poaching to the authors' and cast's reappropriation of cultural narratives about female vampires. The chapter goes on to survey the narrative, cinematic and critical work on women as vampires. As many of the texts were developed as part of the fantasy role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade, this chapter also surveys how fantasy role-playing develops unpublished texts that can make fruitful ground for performance studies. The second chapter examines the rehearsal and production process in comparison to the work of Glenda Dickerson and other feminist directors.
The Relationship Between Interpersonal Communication Satisfaction and Biological Sex: the Nurse-Physician Relationship
This study examined to what extent the biological sex of the nurse-physician interactants affects the interpersonal communication satisfaction experienced by the nurse. Hypotheses One and Two predicted that communication satisfaction would differ significantly across various combinations of sex of nurse and sex of physician dyads. Hypothesis Three predicted that male nurses would experience higher levels of communication satisfaction than would female nurses. Interpersonal communication satisfaction was operationalized by two self-report instruments. The sample included 153 male and female nurses. Results indicated that same-sex interactions were more satisfying for female nurses, while mixed-sex interactions were more satisfying for male nurses. Nurses reported greater communication satisfaction when interacting with female physicians. Hypothesis three was not supported.
Rhetoric as Praxis: A Model for Deconstructing Hermeneutic Discourse
This study proposes a model for the deconstruction of nationalism. Nationalism is a discursive construct. This construct manifests in ideologies and formalizes order. Individuals should question these institutions in order to achieve legitimate societal participation. This criticism can be accomplished through self-reflection. The model demonstrates that sanctioned individual(s) provide interpretations of events. These interpretations recycle authority. The hermeneutic obscures an individual's understanding of the originating fact. Self-reflection allows an individual, such as Malcolm X in the Nation of Islam, to come closer to discovering the original fact. Critiquing the hermeneutic can reveal the imperfections of the message(s). Revealing the imperfections of an ideology is the first step to the liberation of the individual and society.
A Study of the Relationships among Relational Maintenance Strategy Usage, Communicator Style and Romantic Relational Satisfaction
This thesis examined student-participants' self-reported use of romantic relational maintenance strategies and their partners' reports of relational satisfaction. Additionally, individuals outside the romantic relationship reported on student-participants' general communicator style. The research proposed that general style reports would be predictive of relational maintenance strategy usage and of romantic partners' relational satisfaction. The study found that general style behaviors may not be indicative of relational maintenance strategy usage or romantic partners' relational satisfaction. Tests of sex differences revealed that females' expression of various relational maintenance strategies and style behaviors are associated with male partners' relational satisfaction; however, no results were obtained indicating specific behaviors expressed by males result in female partners' relational satisfaction.
A Dialectical Approach to Studying Long-Distance Maintenance Strategies
Using both qualitative and quantitative methodology, this thesis investigates the tactics used by long-distance relational partners, the differences in use of the tactics between long-distance and proximal partners, the relationship among the maintenance tactics, and the relationship of the tactics to relational satisfaction. Seven relational maintenance strategies were identified from the investigation: affirmation, expression, high tech mediated communication, low tech mediated communication, future thought, negative disclosure, and together-time. Significant differences in the use of maintenance tactics between long-distance and proximal partners were discovered and several tactics were found to correlate with relational satisfaction for both relationship types. It is concluded that relational maintenance should be viewed from a multi-dimensional perspective that recognizes the impact relational dialectics have on relationships.
A study of cultural variability and relational maintenance behaviors for international and domestic proximal and long distance interpersonal relationships.
This thesis examined 228 college students' reported use of relational maintenance behaviors and strategies and their reported perception of the degree of relational satisfaction and solidarity with the relational partners they chose to identify. The study gathered extensive data with the intention of primarily investigating the validity and reliability of measurement of relational maintenance behaviors across cultures with some attention to correlations between relationship maintenance behaviors, relationship satisfaction, and interpersonal solidarity. The study focused on refining previous measures of relationship maintenance behaviors in order to develop a comprehensive global measure. The study found that a linear combination of factors or relationship maintenance behaviors are related to relational satisfaction and interpersonal solidarity.
The Emergence of Organization Through Communication
Taylor, Cooren, Giroux, and Robichaud (1996) theorize that an organization is created entirely through the interpretations of its members and it evolves as those conversations change. Demonstrating the Taylor et al. theory, the current study focuses on the outcomes of management vision and strategic planning sessions in a division of a large Southwestern University. It explores the ways organization emerges through the discourse of the managers, how text is amplified to support the organization as a whole, the ways organization continues to emerge in communication, and in what ways the emergent view of organization exists throughout the division. The results of the study support the Taylor et al. theory. Management participants created an expanded view of the organization through discourse and then linked it to the university as a whole. Evidence was found supporting continued reformulation but it was limited to the management participants and did not include hourly employees.
The Rhetoric of Technological Flaws: Intel's Pentium Processor
This study analyzes the apologies presented by Intel Corporation as a response to the Pentium™ microprocessor controversy. Dr. Andrew Grove's November 27,1994, Internet posting to the comp.sys.intel usegroup and Intel's December 20,1994, press release are analyzed using the methods of genre criticism. Further, a situational analysis is presented of the exigence and the audience. The exigence is represented by the relationship of society to technology while the audience is Internet users. This analysis attempts to demonstrate how situational factors constrain discourse related to technological flaws.
State-Receiver Apprehension and Uncertainty in Continuing Initial Interactions
This study examined state-receiver apprehension and uncertainty as they relate to each other and to information seeking and confirmation of relational predictions in initial interactions.
Diversity Revealed: Photovoice Methodology as a Means for Understanding How Teens Construct Diversity
Through the partnership of standpoint theory and photovoice method, the present study looked at how teenagers, attending a multicultural education camp, define diversity, as well as what the participants considered to be the benefits and limitations of diversity. Standpoint theory gives the theoretical perspective to understand the marginalized voice of teenagers, while photovoice provides the tools to better capture and understand their marginalized voice. This study was situated in a professionally-developed camp, Camp CommUNITY, that emphasizes multicultural awareness amongst teens. Nine participants and 46 pictures were analyzed. Resulting from open coding, 11 categories and 6 themes were identified. Each theme and definitions of diversity are approached with a dialectical perspective, yielding to the model of dialectical dimensions of diversity. To answer Research Question 2, participants identified both benefits and limitations for photovoice method. Additional theoretical, practical, and methodological implications, limitations, and directions for future research are addressed.
Milk machines: Exploring the breastfeeding apparatus.
Arguing that current discourse surrounding breastfeeding and the lactating body promotes management of the female body, I attempt to devise an explanation of the breastfeeding apparatus and its strategies. In this study, the strategies include visual and linguistic representations of breastfeeding through art, promotional materials for advertisement and recommendations from the medical community, and the language used in the legal protection of breastfeeding. Using a rhetorical lens, I explore how these varied junctions operate within the breastfeeding apparatus and how breastfeeding is both a product of and a product in the technology. I seek to find what else is at work and how breastfeeding functions as a discursive element in its own right, allowing it to function as an apparatus for control. Finally, I question the potential for resistance in breastfeeding, asking if the lactating body has options, or is the subject so policed and managed that decisions are dictated by the breastfeeding apparatus.
Pedagogical Approach and Instructional Format: An Exploration of the Introductory Communication Course
The goal of this study was to analyze the impact of instructional format and pedagogical approach on students' learning and motivation within the introductory communication course. Three hundred eighty-five students participated in this study within one of four contexts: face-to-face instruction with service-learning, face-to-face instruction without service-learning, blended instruction with service-learning, and blended instruction without service-learning. A series of MANOVAs was utilized for the study. Results of the study, possible explanations for the results, limitations, and guidelines for future research are presented.
From "Living Hell" to "New Normal": Illuminating Self-Identity, Stigma Negotiation, and Mutual Support among Female Former Sex Workers
Women in the sex industry struggle with emotional turmoil, drug and alcohol addiction, poverty, and spiritual disillusionment. Their lived experiences as stigmatized individuals engender feelings of powerlessness, which inhibits their attempts to leave the sex industry. This study illuminates how personal narratives develop throughout the process of shedding stigmatized identities and how mutual support functions as a tool in life transformation. Social identity theory and feminist standpoint theory are used as theoretical frameworks of this research, with each theory adding nuanced understanding to life transformations of female former sex workers. Results indicate that women in the sex industry share common narratives that reveal experiences of a "Living Hell", transitional language, and ultimate alignment with traditional norms. Implications of SIT and FST reveal the role of feminist organizations as possible patriarchal entities and adherence to stereotypical masculine ideology as an anchoring factor in continued sex work.
Nontraditional name changes for men: Attitudes of men and women.
Recently, some men have taken their wives' last names upon marriage rather than following tradition. The goal of this study was to examine the attitudes that men and women have toward these nontraditional men. Ideological hegemony and social identity theory comprised the framework for examining participants' beliefs. A survey first elicited participants' extant sexist beliefs about men and the characteristics of a nontraditional man compared to a traditional man. An open-ended question further explored participants' opinions. The results indicated that benevolent sexism influences respondents' attitudes towards nontraditional men and that most respondents view nontraditional men as more nurturing and committed to their marriage than traditional men. The results further revealed a dichotomy of positive and negative attitudes towards nontraditional men indicating that society's feelings about nontraditional men are changing.
A Communication Based Model of Power
We are affected greatly by power, and often do not understand what power is, how it is used, and its many other facets. Power and communication are interrelated, but how they relate to each other has been hard to understand. The model presented in this thesis explicates the relationship between the two critical variables. Power is portrayed as a hierarchical structure that is based on influence (communication) where the intensity and likelihood of success of power attempts increase as the level of power increases. The hierarchical structure has four levels, including influence at its base, and prominence, authority and control at the higher levels.
A Rhetorical Analysis of Major Oil Companies' Advertisements in 1990 : A Semiotic Approach
This study demonstrates how discourse is used to construct popular myths. This study analyzes magazine advertisements used by businesses in overcoming the rhetorical problem posed by a public opinion that blamed them for environmental problems. This study shows how businesses used advertisements to construct a popular myth that businesses were doing their part in overcoming the environmental crisis.
A Study of the Relationships between Current Attachment Styles and Previous Disengagement Strategies
This thesis examined attachment styles and disengagement strategies used to end romantic relationships for 213 college students.
Poppin' Their Thang: African American Blueswomen and Multiple Jeopardy
This ethnographic analysis examines the life stories and lyrics of four African blues singers. Specifically, it compares the cultural themes that emerge their life stories to the cultural themes at emerge from their commercially released music. The findings suggest that the singers recognize, to varying degrees, the impact of racism, sexism, and classism on their personal and careers. These same themes, however, are not present in the lyrics of the music that they choose to sing. Both the stories and the lyrics reveal internal inconsistencies that mirror one another. The conclusion suggests that the inconsistencies within their stories and music are consistent with their liminal position with regard to dominant and subordinate cultures.
Purification Rhetoric: A Generic Analysis of Draft Card, Flag, and Cross Burning Cases
This thesis assesses three United States Supreme Court opinions, engaging in an inductive approach to generic criticism, in an attempt to discover whether or not there are similarities and/or differences in these decisions. This study focuses on draft card, flag, and cross burning cases argued before the Court in order to discover the potential genre's characteristics.
Social Drama at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary : The Dilday Controversy
This study examines the events surrounding the firing of Russell Dilday at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as a social drama. The results suggest that, for application to post-industrial cultures, adaptations need to be made to Victor Turner's original method. The addition of Thomas Farrell's anticipation phase, identification of the breach with the transgression, and examination of unique facets of post-industrial cultures such as economic factors and the role of the media are recommended modifications. In light of these differences, the study concludes that the state of affairs at Southwestern is characteristic of schism in a post-industrial culture.
A Study of the Relationships Among Relational Maintenance Strategies, Sexual Communication Strategies and Romantic Relational Satisfaction
This thesis examined 199 college students' reported use of relational maintenance strategies and their reports of the occurrence of sexual communication strategies within the relationship with their partners' reported relational satisfaction.
A Study of the Relationships among Student Expectations about Teacher Nonverbal Immediacy, Student Perceptions of Teacher Nonverbal Immediacy, and Affective Learning in Distance Learning and the On-Site Classroom
This thesis explored the relationships among three communication variables in college-level instruction: students' expectancy about teachers' nonverbal immediacy, students' actual perceptions of teachers' nonverbal immediacy, and students' affective learning. Community college students enrolled in either distance learning or a traditional classroom course completed pre-course and mid-course questionnaires to indicate their expectations and observations of the nonverbal immediacy behaviors of their teachers. Analysis showed that students expected and perceived less nonverbal immediacy from tele-course teachers than from on-site teachers, but that perceptions significantly exceeded expectations. Research findings indicated that students' expectancies about teachers' nonverbal immediacy may influence the measurement of affective learning.
Enacting Racism: Clarence Thomas, George Bush, and the Construction of Social Reality
This study analyzes the confirmation hearings discourse of Clarence Thomas and George Bush. Language constructs social reality. The United States has a history of racism and this history manifests itself in our language. The discourse of Clarence Thomas and George Bush created a social reality that equated opposition to Thomas' confirmation with racism using rhetorical strategies that included metaphor and narrative construction.
An Analysis of Gay/Lesbian Instructor Identity in the Classroom
In this project I explore the connection between cultural and personal identity in the college classroom. Respondent interviews were conducted using open-ended questions, which began with a broad picture of the role the instructor played in the classroom and then focused more specifically on the issue of sexual orientation and the choices to disclose or not disclose orientation in the classroom. Thematic analysis was used to examine the interviews, upon the completion of the interviews being transcribed. RQ1: Do gay and lesbian instructors disclose their sexual orientation in the classroom? From this question, four themes emerged. These themes were disclosure not relevant, out of the classroom disclosure, students just know, and disclosure in the classroom. RQ2: What reasons do gay and lesbian instructors give for disclosing their sexual orientation in the classroom? Two themes, fears of disclosure and holding back, transpired from this question. RQ3: How do gay and lesbian instructors foster diversity in the classroom related to sexual orientation? Four themes were exposed from the question, and these themes were paradox of diversity, passing, mentoring, and identity not sexuality.
We've Only Just Begun: A Black Feminist Analysis of Eleanor Smeal's National Press Club Address
The voices of black women have traditionally been excluded from rhetorical scholarship, both as a subject of study and as a methodological approach. Despite the little attention black feminist thought has received, black women have long been articulating the unique intersection of oppressions they face and have been developing critical epistemologies.This study analyzes the National Press Club address given by NOW President Eleanor Smeal utilizing a black feminist methodological approach. The study constructs a black feminist theory for the communication discipline and applies it to a discursive artifact from the women's liberation movement. The implications of the study include the introduction of a new methodological approach to the communication discipline that can expand the liberatory reach of its scholarship.
What's Real Anymore: A Comparison of World of Warcraft, SecondLife and Online Experiences
The proliferation of the Internet and online-based social interactions has become an increasingly popular topic with communication scholars. The goal of this study was to explore how massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG) players make sense of and negotiate their online social interactions. This study (N = 292) examined how players of SecondLife and World of Warcraft evaluated their online relationships compared to their offline relationships and investigated how different levels of realism within different MMORPGs effected player's online experiences. The results indicated that players of SecondLife placed higher values of emotional closeness to their online relationships when compared to players of World of Warcraft and SecondLife was rated more real by its players than World of Warcraft. Results further indicated that players of SecondLife had higher levels of perceived online emotional closeness when compared to perceived offline emotional closeness. Implications of this study focus on developing a bottom up holistic profile of online game players as opposed to the current top down research model.
"It's never been this bad...ever": An analysis of K-12 teachers' standpoints related to parent-teacher communication.
With the rise of "helicopter" parents within primary and secondary education, school officials nationwide have started to address how to manage parental involvement in the educational system, specifically with regard to parent-teacher communication. Beginning in the 1980s, school administrators actively implemented programs targeting increased parental involvement in K-12 public schools, though the use of contact and relationship building strategies, in order to substantiate school-teacher-parent communication and further parental influence over decision making processes. While administrators and parents may view parent-teacher interactions as productive, teachers' negative experiences with parents may lead to stress, burnout, and attrition. Researchers have indicated that between 20 and 50% of first through third year teachers leave the profession due to increased, long-term stress, unrealistic workload, and an overall feeling of decreased personal and professional fulfillment. Likewise, through educational reform initiatives to standardize curriculum and increase parental involvement within public schools, teachers' roles within the educational system have shifted from positions of power, to figureheads for the system. The purpose of this study is to examine public school K-12 teachers' standpoints as they relate to parent-teacher communication.
Living with s(k)in: An analysis of tattoo removal.
This paper investigates the role of tattoo removal in postmodernity. Specifically, I suggest tattoo removal is a technology of self in which the tattooed person can attain absolution from a "sinful" tattoo. This paper explores the construction of the confessional act in two parts: the construction of the confessing subject and the construction of the medical clinic as the confessor's listener. Using the texts medical offices place on the internet to advertise their services, I investigate the text's interpellation of subjects desiring tattoo removal. I then examine the construction of the clinic's status in the confessional act. Websites and brochures on gang tattoo removal provide a dialogue in which the clinic negotiates and attains its powerful position in the confessional act. The paper concludes by investigating the implications of the tattoo remnant, the material effects of the technology of self, and the benefits of studying the body-skin in rhetoric.
Rhapsody in Green - A Happening: An Examination of the Happening as a Rhetorical Tool
In this study I outline seven characteristics of a traditional Happening (the use of games and play, an inherent intertextual element, an emphasis on place/space, an element/spirit of anarchy, an element of chance, an emphasis on the fusion of art with everyday life, and the existence of both a purpose and a meaning) and seek to determine which characteristics contribute to the Happening's current usage as a rhetorical tool. I created a traditional Happening containing a message of environmental consumption and destruction, and surveyed audience members regarding their interpretation and experience. The survey responses were coded using a top-down narrative analysis. I discovered that intertextuality, place/space, and the fusion of art with everyday life are particularly effective communicators of a message in a socially or politically conscious Happening.
Beyond Suzie Wong? An Analysis of Sandra Oh’s Portrayal in Grey’s Anatomy
In my study, I examine if and how Sandra Oh’s portrayal of Dr. Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, a primetime network drama, reifies or resists U.S. mediated stereotypes of Asian American females. I situate my intercultural study in an interpretive paradigm because I am want to explore how the evolving characteristics of existing the Asian American female mediated stereotype as they influence Asian American female identity. Additionally, I trace the historical development of Asian and Asian American stereotypes yellow peril to the model minority; and from Dragon Lady, Lotus Blossom, Geisha, and Suzie Wong. From my textual analysis, I suggest that when portrayals simultaneously reify and resist characteristics of existing Asian American stereotypes, they may help to breakdown perceived binaries of existing Asian and Asian American stereotypes.
"The Long Goodbye": Uncertainty Management in Alzheimer's Caregivers
Caregivers for individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) shoulder a remarkably complex burden as compared to other caregivers of elderly individuals. For long distance caregivers, geographical separation further compounds the problems experienced by AD caregivers, as they are isolated from family members and support networks. Both on-site and long-distance AD caregivers experience uncertainty; the findings from this study illustrate how AD caregivers manage the uncertainty of the disease and primary care, as well as how uncertainty differs between on-site and long-distance caregivers. AD caregiver (N = 13) interviews were transcribed and qualitatively analyzed using uncertainty management theory as a thematic lens. The analysis revealed that AD caregivers experience overwhelming feelings of burden, guilt, and doubt; however, these feelings manifest differently depending on caregiver type. The findings of this study demonstrate that sources for obtaining information regarding AD and caregiving were useful for on-site caregivers; however, the sources did not account for the needs of long-distance caregivers or the psychosocial needs of on-site caregivers. Furthermore, AD caregivers did not seek support or information about AD and caregiving from health care professionals. Implications for future research regarding long-distance and on-site AD caregiving are discussed.
Re-Branding Palliative Care: Assessing Effects of a Name Change on Physician Communicative Processes During Referrals
Although provision of palliative care on the United States is growing, referrals to the service are often late or non-existent. The simultaneous care model provides a blueprint for the most progressive form of palliative care, which is palliation and disease-oriented treatments delivered concurrently. Research indicates the existence of a widespread misconception that associates palliative care with imminent death, and some organizations have chosen to re-brand their palliative care services to influence this perception. The goal of this study was to assess the effects of a name change from palliative care to supportive care on the communicative process during referrals to the service.
Toward a Post-Structural Monumentality
This study addresses a tension in contemporary studies of public memory between ideology criticism and postmodern critique. Both strategies of reading public memory rely on a representational logic derived from the assumption that the source for comparison of a memory text occurs in a more fundamental text or event. Drawing heavily from Michel Foucault, the study proposes an alternative to a representational reading strategy based on the concepts of regularity, similitude, articulation, and cultural formation. The reading of Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Galveston County Vietnam Memorial serves as an example of a non-representational regularity enabled by the cultural formation of pastoral power.
The twain have met: Self-disclosure in the formation and development of intercultural friendships in the case of Taiwanese versus native English speakers.
Grounded in a social penetration perspective, this exploratory study aspires to examine the impact of self-disclosure on intercultural friendship development between Taiwanese and native English speakers by a section of the following populations: (a) Taiwanese sojourning in the US, (b) native English speakers sojourning in Taiwan, and (c) Taiwanese in Taiwan. This research employed a triangulation of quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews to answer the proposed research questions and hypothesis regarding four dimensions and six topics of self-disclosure. Consistent with the quantitative results, the five themes that emerged from the qualitative analysis indicate both unique challenges in self-disclosing to intercultural friends and a positive association between self-disclosure and cultural adaptation. Additionally, this study highlights the role of self-disclosure in the four identified stages of intercultural friendship development. Finally, findings from this study have implications for the social penetration theory, anxiety/uncertainly management theory, and theory of adaptation in intercultural dyads.