UNT Theses and Dissertations - 88 Matching Results

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"It's never been this bad...ever": An analysis of K-12 teachers' standpoints related to parent-teacher communication.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Thomas-Seltzer, Ashley
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Gravley, Dianne Yvonne
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 coping was most common for problems related to parental difficulty adjustment. a second research question was added post hoc; it questioned if special needs adopted children had an impact on family adjustment. Results indicated the special needs designation is related to home and work life adjustment. After discussing the theoretical and practical implications of this study, I offer limitations and directions for future research.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Seebeck, Lara N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teaching Past the Test: a Pedagogy of Critical Pragmatism

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.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Jordan, Jason
Partner: UNT Libraries

Social Movements, Subjectivity, and Solidarity: Witnessing Rhetoric of the International Solidarity Movement

Description: This study engaged in pushing the current political limitations created by the political impasse of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, by imagining new possibilities for radical political change, agency, and subjectivity for both the international activists volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement as well as Palestinians enduring the brutality of life under occupation. The role of the witness and testimony is brought to bear on activism and rhetoric the social movement ISM in Palestine. Approaches the past studies of the rhetoric of social movements arguing that rhetorical studies often disassociated 'social' from social movements, rendering invisible questions of the social and subjectivity from their frames for evaluation. Using the testimonies of these witnesses, Palestinians and activists, as the rhetorical production of the social movement, this study provides an effort to put the social body back into rhetorical studies of social movements. The relationships of subjectivity and desubjectification, as well as, possession of subjects by agency and the role of the witness with each of these is discussed in terms of Palestinian and activist potential for subjectification and desubjectifiation.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Wachsmann, Emily Brook
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Myth of Emmetropia: Perception in Rhetorical Studies

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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Kaszynski, Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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 the privacy management of swingers, as well as other ways in which they manage their stigmatized identities.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Sova, Melodee Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Correlative Study of Gender and Social Style.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Gross, Amanda
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship Between Interpersonal Communication Satisfaction and Biological Sex: the Nurse-Physician Relationship

Description: 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.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Glenn, Theresa Hammerstein
Partner: UNT Libraries

Homeless Abjection and the Uncanny “Place” of the National Imagination

Description: This project examines the effects of the homeless body and the threat of homelessness on constructing a national imaginary that relies on the trope of locatability for recognition as a citizen-subject. The thesis argues that homelessness, the oft-figured specter of public space, functions as bodies that are “pushed out” as citizen-subjects due to their inability maintain both discursive and material location. I argue that figures of “home” rely on the ever-present threat of dislocation to maintain a privileged position as the location of the consuming citizen-subject. That is, the presence of the dislocated homeless body haunts the discursive and material construction of home and its inhabitants. Homeless then becomes the uncanny inverse of home, functioning as an abjection that reifies home “place” as an arbiter of recognition in a neoliberal national imaginary. The chapters proceed to examine what some consider homeless “homes,” focusing on the reduction of the homeless condition to a place of inhabitance, or the lack thereof. This attempt to locate the homeless body becomes a symptom of the desire for recognition as a placed body. The thesis ends on a note of political possibility, figuring the uncanny as a rupture that evacuates language of signification and opens up space for a form of recognition without an over-determined identity.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Sloss, Eric J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

On Viewing Press Releases of the Texas State AFL-CIO as Rhetorical Genre

Description: Previous scholarship on labor rhetoric has concentrated on the impact of declining union membership and contemporary activist strategies on the part of unions. The press release is a common form of communication that organized labor employs in order to reach its publics. This study explores the press releases of the Texas State AFL-CIO to determine to what extent this level of labor discourse meets the criteria of a rhetorical genre. This study employs the methodology for generic criticism laid out by Foss for identifying genres. The study concludes that a genre of labor rhetoric exists and that the genre was used extensively to promote the Texas State AFL-CIO as a socially-conscious and politically motivated organization.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Welborn, Ronny D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rhetoric as Praxis: A Model for Deconstructing Hermeneutic Discourse

Description: 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.
Date: August 1993
Creator: James, Edwin M. (Edwin Martin)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Corporate Interlocks on Power and Constraint in the Telecommunications Industry

Description: Using the tools of structural and network analysis developed by Ronald R. Burt and others, this study investigated the communication patterns among corporate officers of American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (A.T. & T.) and United Telecommunications Corporation (Sprint). Data on contacts, efficiency, network density, and constraint indicate that opportunities for power and constraint have remained relatively stable at United Telecommunications between 1980 and 1990. A. A.T. & T., on the other hand, was more affected by the drastic changes in the telecommunication industry. The span of A.T. & T. has grown smaller and the potential for constraining relations among A. T. & T. and financial institutions has increased during the period 1980 and 1990.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Hickerson, Jon D. (Jon David)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Performing Culture, Performing Me: Exploring Textual Power through Rehearsal and Performance

Description: This thesis project explores Chicana feminist Gloria Anzaldúa's notion of a new mestiza consciousness, in which the marginalized ethnic American woman transcends her Otherness, breaks down the borders between her different identities, and creates a Thirdspace. Through the rehearsal and performance process, three ethnic American women employed Robert Scholes' model of textuality-the consumption and production of texts-as a framework to construct a new mestiza consciousness, and create a Thirdspace. The project set to determine what strategies were significant rehearsal techniques for encouraging the cast members to exercise textual power and claim a new mestiza identity, a Thirdspace. The results reveal four overarching factors involved in assuming textual power through rehearsal and performance in the production-building trust, having appropriate skills, assuming ownership and responsibility, and overcoming performance anxiety. The discussion addresses the direct link between Thirdspace and Scholes' notion of production of original texts.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Gonzales, Melinda Arteaga
Partner: UNT Libraries

Network Analysis of the Symmetric and Asymmetric Patterns of Conflict in an Organization

Description: Missing from extant conflict literature is an examination of both symmetric and asymmetric conflict ties. To address this void, network analysis was utilized to examine the responses (both symmetric and asymmetric conflict ties) of 140 employees and managers in four divisions of a large agency of the Federal Government. The study was limited to conflict over scarce resources. Conflict management methods were examined as well as the perceptions of how respondents both cope with and feel about conflict. The results indicate that when two people in a conflict setting are structurally equivalent they both report actions and feelings that are opposite from those of- the other person. This finding, an inverse contagion effect, has been termed diffusion resistance.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Helt, Kimberly M. (Kimberly Mae)
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Case Study of NASA's Columbia Tragedy: An Organizational Learning and Sensemaking Approach to Organizational Crisis.

Description: No other government agency receives as much attention as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The high-profile agency frequently captures attention of the media in both positive and negative contexts. This thesis takes a case study approach using organizational learning and sensemaking theories to investigate crisis communication within NASA's 2003 Columbia tragedy. Eight participants, who in some capacity had worked for NASA during the Columbia tragedy in a communication centered position, were interviewed. Using a grounded theory framework, nine themes emerged pertaining to organizational learning, leadership, structure, and organizational culture. The results of the study aid in understanding how high risk organization's (HROs) can learn from previous failures and details how organizational culture can hinder organizational change.
Date: December 2007
Creator: James, Eric Preston
Partner: UNT Libraries

Beyond Rocking the Vote: An Analysis of Rhetoric Designed to Motivate Young Voters

Description: Attempts to solve the continued problem of low youth voter turnout in the U.S. have included get out the vote drives, voter registration campaigns, and public service announcements targeting 18- to 25-year-old voters. Pay Attention and Vote added to this effort to motivate young voters in its 2006 campaign. This thesis analyzes the rhetorical strategies employed by the Pay Attention and Vote campaign advertisements, measures their effectiveness, and adds to the limited body of knowledge describing the attitudes and behaviors of young nonvoters. This thesis applies a mixed method approach, utilizing both rhetorical criticism and quantitative method. The results of both analyses are integrated into a discussion which critiques current strategies of addressing the youth voter turnout problem and offers suggestions for future research on the topic.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Brewer, Angela
Partner: UNT Libraries

Rhapsody in Green - A Happening: An Examination of the Happening as a Rhetorical Tool

Description: 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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Walker, Rebecca Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Deleuze, Femininity and the Specter of Poststructural Politics: Variations on the Materiality of Rhetoric

Description: 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.
Date: December 2004
Creator: May, Matthew S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The glocalization and acculturation of HIV/AIDS: The role of communication in the control and prevention of the epidemic in Uganda.

Description: Grounded in the social constructivism tradition, this study examined the role of communication in the glocalization and acculturation of HIV/AIDS by a section of sexually active Ugandans then living in Rakai district during the advent of the epidemic in 1982. Sixty-four women and men participated in ten focus group discussions in Rakai and Kampala districts. Five themes emerged from the data highlighting how individuals and communities made sense of the epidemic, the omnipresence of death, how they understood the HIV/AIDS campaign, and how they are currently coping with its backlash. The study concludes that HIV/AIDS is socially constructed and can be understood better from local perspectives rather than from a globalized view. The study emphasizes the integration of cultural idiosyncrasies in any health communication campaigns to realize behavioral change.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Muwanguzi, Samuel
Partner: UNT Libraries

"The Long Goodbye": Uncertainty Management in Alzheimer's Caregivers

Description: 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.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Shaunfield, Sara
Partner: UNT Libraries

Re-Branding Palliative Care: Assessing Effects of a Name Change on Physician Communicative Processes During Referrals

Description: 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.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Burt, Stephanie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Diversity Revealed: Photovoice Methodology as a Means for Understanding How Teens Construct Diversity

Description: 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.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Rodriguez, Stuti Mehta
Partner: UNT Libraries

From Brecht to Butler: an Analysis of Dirty Grrrls

Description: “From Brecht to Butler: An Analysis of Dirty Grrrls” is a production centered thesis focusing on the image of the mudflap girl. The study examines the graduate production Dirty Grrrls as a form of praxis intersecting the mudflap girl, the theory of gender performativity, and Brechtian methodology. As a common yet unexplored symbol of hypersexual visual culture in U.S. American society, the mudflap girl acts as a relevant subject matter for both the performance and written portion of the study. Through the production, mudflap girl materializes at the meeting point of the terms performance and performativity. The written portion of this project examines this intersection and discusses the productive cultural work accomplished on the page and on the stage via live embodiment of performativity.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Lugo, Joanna
Partner: UNT Libraries