UNT Theses and Dissertations - Browse

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The twain have met: Self-disclosure in the formation and development of intercultural friendships in the case of Taiwanese versus native English speakers.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Chen, Yea Wen
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Respect is active like an organism that is not only cumulative but has a very personal effect": A grounded theory methodology of a respect communication model in the college classroom.

Description: This study examined the notion of respect in the college classroom. While pedagogical researchers had previously studied the phenomenon, each found challenges in defining it. Moreover, communication scholars do not examine respect as a primary pedagogical factor with learning implications. Focus groups provided venues for topic-specific discussion necessary for better understanding the diversity of students' worldviews regarding respect in the college classroom. Grounded theory allowed for searching theoretical relevance of the phenomenon through constant comparison with categorical identification. The most practical contributions of this research identifies as several major notions including, the importance of relationships within the process, student self-esteem, and global-classroom respect. In addition, implications emerged from the data as learning, motivation, and environment. One other practical contribution exists as a respect communication model for the college classroom. Further, examining students' worldviews of respect in the classroom provides benefits for pedagogical scholars, students, and instructors.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Martinez, Alma
Partner: UNT Libraries

Speaking up: Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior to Bystander Intervention in Racism

Description: Because racism remains a significant issue in society, and many victims of racism do not speak up for themselves when faced with racism, it is important to explore how witnesses to racist events may react and intervene upon observing racism toward others. Thus, the current study explored how participants (bystanders) reacted verbally to racist comments made by a confederate during a partner activity, as well as how participants discussed their reactions in post-interviews. Forty college students participated in the study, and three of the participants verbally intervened upon hearing the racist statements. Ajzen's theory of planned behavior was utilized as a framework, and examination of the results indicated that components of the theory as well as social constructions of racism and appropriateness of intervention behaviors affect intervention outcomes. Theoretical, methodological, and practical implications, as well as suggestions for future research are included.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Hall, Camille Ashley
Partner: UNT Libraries

Learner-to-Learner: Refocusing the Lens of Educational Immediacy

Description: As the current body of instructional communication research focuses primarily on the relationship between teacher and learner, three studies investigating the relationship between learners were completed in order to better understand how student motivation and learning are influenced by learner-to-learner immediacy behaviors within the college classroom environment. Study I resulted in an extensive list of both positive and negative verbal and nonverbal immediacy behaviors commonly used by learners. Study II required the comparison of the behaviors identified in study one to existing measures of teacher to learner immediacy behaviors, producing a new measure focusing on learner-to-learner immediacy. Following a pilot survey, the reliability of this new measure was determined through face validity and factor analysis, producing the Learner-to-Learner Immediacy Behavior Scale. In Study III, the Learner-to-Learner Immediacy Behavior Scale was combined with Christophel's 1990 Immediacy Behavior Scale, Cognitive Learning Scale, Affective Learning Scale, and Trait and State Motivation Scales and administered to 273 undergraduate students to test the affects of common learner-to-learner immediacy behaviors on student state motivation, affective learning, and perceptions of cognitive learning loss. Multiple regression analyses indicated learner-to-learner immediacy as functioning similarly to teacher-to-student immediacy when mediated through state motivation in its influence on student affective learning and perceptions of cognitive learning loss.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Keller, Christine Ida
Partner: UNT Libraries

Grounds-Based and Grounds-Free Voluntarily Child Free Couples: Privacy Management and Reactions of Social Network Members

Description: Voluntarily child free (VCF) individuals face stigmatization in a pronatalist society that labels those who do not want children as deviant. Because of this stigmatization, VCF couples face privacy issues as they choose to reveal or conceal their family planning decision and face a variety of reactions from social network members. Therefore, communication privacy management and communication accommodation theory was use to examine this phenomenon. Prior research found two different types of VCF couples: grounds-based and grounds-free. Grounds-based individuals cite medical or biological reasons for not having children, while grounds-free individuals cite social reasons for not having children. The purpose of this study is to examine how grounds-based and grounds-free VCF couples manage their disclosure of private information and how social network members react to their family planning decision. Findings revealed that grounds-free individuals are more likely to engage in the self-defense hypothesis and grounds-based individuals are more likely to engage in the expressive need hypothesis. Grounds-based individuals were asked about their decision in dyadic situations, whereas grounds-free individuals were asked at group gatherings. Additionally, social network members used under-accommodation strategies the most frequently and grounds-free individuals experienced more name calling than grounds-based. Finally, while grounds-free individuals experienced non-accommodation and over-accommodation strategies, grounds-based did not. Findings suggest that grounds-free individuals are more stigmatized by social network members. Implications for merging CPM and CAT are discussed.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Regehr, Kelly A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Incorporating Flow for a Comic [Book] Corrective of Rhetcon

Description: In this essay, I examined the significance of graphic novels as polyvalent texts that hold the potential for creating an aesthetic sense of flow for readers and consumers. In building a justification for the rhetorical examination of comic book culture, I looked at Kenneth Burke's critique of art under capitalism in order to explore the dimensions between comic book creation, distribution, consumption, and reaction from fandom. I also examined Victor Turner's theoretical scope of flow, as an aesthetic related to ritual, communitas, and the liminoid. I analyzed the graphic novels Green Lantern: Rebirth and Y: The Last Man as case studies toward the rhetorical significance of retroactive continuity and the somatic potential of comic books to serve as equipment for living. These conclusions lay groundwork for multiple directions of future research.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Castleberry, Garret
Partner: UNT Libraries

More connections, less connection: An examination of the effects of computer-mediated communication on relationships.

Description: The impact of computer-mediated communication (CMC) on relational behavior is a topic of increasing interest to communication scholars (McQuillen, 2003; Tidwell & Walther, 2002). One of the most interesting issues that CMC raises concerns the impact of CMC on relational maintenance and development. Using dialectical theory, social exchange theory, social information processing theory, and the hyperpersonal perspective as theoretical frameworks, this study used quantitative and qualitative analyses to identity potential effects of CMC on relationships. Study 1 (n=317) examined the effects of CMC on relational closeness, satisfaction, and social support. Study 2 (n=196) explored the reasons individuals provide for privileging computer-mediated forms of communication, and the perceived effects of using CMC in relational communication. Results indicated that quality of CMC predicted increased perceptions of social support and relationship satisfaction. Results further suggested that CMC enabled participants to manage more effectively relational tensions of autonomy-connection and openness-closedness. Specifically, individuals used CMC to retain higher levels of conversational control, and to maintain greater numbers of relationships with decreased levels of investment. This paper concludes with a discussion of implications and directions for future research.
Date: December 2006
Creator: McGlynn, Joseph
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

You don't know me but can I be your friend? Accepting strangers as friends in Facebook.

Description: Users in social networking sites, such as Facebook, are increasingly receiving friend requests from strangers and accepting strangers as friends. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the Big Five personality traits and strangers' gender in affecting Facebook users' decisions to accept the stranger's friend request by adopting a 2 (gender of the stranger: male vs. female) x 5 (stranger's personality: Neuroticism vs. Extraversion vs. Openness vs. Conscientiousness vs. Agreeableness) factorial design. Results revealed that participants were more likely to accept the stranger's friend request when the participant's and stranger's personalities matched. This effect was more pronounced when the stranger was a female. Participants accepted female stranger's friend request due to the inflated perception of stereotypical female characteristics, which supported the hyperpersonal effect. Majority of the participants accepted the stranger's friend request based on textual cues that were displayed in the friend request message, which supported social information processing theory, suggesting that impression formation of the stranger was not constrained to the lack of nonverbal cues setting.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Leow, Serena
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

In good communication and in bad: A study of premarital counseling and communication skills in newlywed couples.

Description: This study examined the effects of premarital counseling on newlywed communication. It was predicted that individuals who had participated in premarital counseling would have lower levels of demand/withdrawal communication and higher levels of spousal support. The effects of the format of the counseling were also examined. Individuals who had been married less than two years completed a survey measuring their marital satisfaction, levels of demand/withdraw, and perceived spousal support. Social learning theory was used as a theoretical lens. Results suggested that participating in premarital counseling has no affect on newlywed communication. Newlyweds who had been exposed to a group format during their counseling had higher marital satisfaction than those who had just participated in a one-on-one format with a counselor.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Norvell, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Family Sex Talk: Analyzing the Influence of Family Communication Patterns on Parent and Late Adolescent's Sex Conversations

Description: Family communication has the potential to affect a variety of youth behavioral outcomes including adolescent sexual risk behavior. Within chapter 1, I present past literature on adolescent sexual risk behaviors, family communication patterns, and the gaps associated with those areas. In chapter 2, I review previous literature on adolescent sexual risk behavior, parent-child communication and family communication patterns. In chapter 3, I present the method which includes a description of the participants, procedures, measures, and data analysis used. In Chapter 4, I present the results of the study. According to the results of the study, father-child communication is not a better predictor of adolescent sexual risk behavior. A higher quantity of parent-child communication does not lead to less adolescent sexual risk behavior. Participants with a pluralistic family type do significantly differ from laissez-faire and protective family types in regards to levels of parent-child communication. Participants with a consensual family type do have significantly higher levels of parent-child communication in comparison to laissez-faire family types, but not protective family types. Finally, in chapter 5, I present the discussion with a review of previous research (consistent or inconsistent with the current findings), limitations and conclusions for the current study.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Allen, Evette L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

To Tell or not to Tell? An Examination of Stepparents' Communication Privacy Management

Description: This study examined stepparents' privacy boundary management when engaging in communicative interactions with stepchildren. I utilized Petronio's communication privacy management theory to investigate stepparents' motivations of disclosing or concealing from stepchildren as well as how stepparents' gender influences such motivations. Moreover, present research also explored types of privacy dilemma within stepfamily households from stepparent perspectives. Fifteen stepfathers and 15 stepmothers received in-depth interviews about their self-disclosing and concealment experiences with stepchildren. I identified confidant dilemma and accidental dilemma in stepfamily households from stepparents' perspectives, as well as stepparents' gender differences in self-disclosing and concealing motivations. Findings also suggest that stepparents reveal and conceal from stepchildren out of same motivations: establishing good relationships, viewing stepchildren as own children, helping stepchildren with problems resulting from the divorce and viewing stepchildren as "others." The result also indicates that stepparents experienced dialectical tensions between closedness and openness during the decision of revealing or concealing from stepchildren.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Hsu, Tsai-chen
Partner: UNT Libraries

"He's a Human, You're a Mermaid": Narrative Performance in Disney's The Little Mermaid

Description: Disney animation represents a powerful source of economic and cultural production. However, following the death of Walt Disney, the animation division found itself struggling to survive. It was not until the 1989 release of the hugely successful animated film The Little Mermaid that Disney would reclaim its domination among children's cultural producers. Additionally, The Little Mermaid inaugurated a shift in Disney's portrayals of gender as the company replaced the docile passive princess characteristic of its previous animated films with a physically active and strong willed ambitious heroine. Grounded in an understanding of Disney's cultural significance as dominant storyteller, the present study explores gender in The Little Mermaid by means of narrative performativity. Specifically, I analyze the film's songs "Part of Your World," "Under the Sea," and "Poor Unfortunate Souls" as metonymic narrative performances of gender that are (1) embodied, (2) materially situated, (3) discursively embedded and (4) capable of legitimating and critiquing existing power relations.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Polanco, Raquel
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Terministic Filter of Security: Realism, Feminism and International Relations Theory

Description: This study uses Kenneth Burke's concept of terministic filters to examine what the word security means to two different publics within the academic discipline of international relations. It studies the rhetoric feminist international relations theorists and contrasts their view security with that of realist and neo-realist interpretations of international affairs. This study claims to open up the possibility for studying the rhetoric of emergent movements through the use of dramatistic or terministic screens.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Mueller, Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries

Emergency Physician Communication Style and Career Satisfaction: Is There a Correlation?

Description: The correlation between social style and career satisfaction among emergency physicians was investigated. An e-mail survey was sent to a random sample of 1,000 members of the American College of Emergency Physicians in practice for at least three years; 707 had valid e-mail addresses. A twenty-item behavioral style survey instrument and a five-item career satisfaction scale were used. The study incorporated prenotification and reminder e-mails. Valid responses were obtained from 329 physicians (46.5%). No correlation was shown between social style and career satisfaction. Problems with both survey instruments were discovered. Survey respondents were unhappy with their careers, with an average satisfaction of 4.03, 1 being very satisfied, 5 very dissatisfied. Areas for future study include redoing the study using different survey instruments.
Date: December 2002
Creator: McEwen, Janet S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Programming homeland security: Citizen preparedness and the threat of terrorism.

Description: This thesis tests the necessity of terrorism in articulating Homeland Security citizenship. Chapter 1 orients the study, reviewing relevant literature. Chapter 2 examines the USDHS Ready Kids program's Homeland Security Guide, mapping a baseline for how Homeland Security citizenship is articulated with the overt use of terrorism. Chapter 3 investigates the USDHS Ready Kids program, charting the logic of Homeland Security citizenship when the threat of terrorism is removed from sense making about preparedness. Chapter 4 compares the findings of Chapters 2 and 3, evaluating the similarities and differences between these two articulations of Homeland Security citizenship and concluding that the logic that cements Homeland Security into American society does not depend on the threat of terrorism against the United States.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Register, David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Organizational Rhetoric in the Academy: Junior Faculty Perceptions and Roles

Description: The purpose of this project was to examine the perceptions of junior faculty members as they relate to roles and expectations related to the tenure process. The study utilized a mixed methods approach to gain a multifaceted perspective of this complex process. I employed a quantitative and qualitative survey to explore junior faculty perceptions regarding roles related to promotion and tenure policies. In addition, I conducted fantasy theme analysis (FTA) to explore the organizational rhetoric related to these policies. Findings from the study illustrate the continued presence of the "publish or perish" paradigm, as well as issues related to role conflict within the context of organizational rhetoric.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Gordon, Cynthia K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ideographs, Fragments, and Strategic Absences: An Ideographic Analysis of <Collateral Damage>

Description: This study examined the ideograph of <collateral damage> through an analysis of the Bush Administration's rhetoric as well as visual photographs of Iraqi civilian deaths. The project argues that the psycho-dynamic rhetoric of the Bush Administration during a time of visual censorship lead to the dehumanization of Iraqi civilian deaths during the War in Iraq. The method consisted of a textual analysis of the Bush Administration's rhetoric and continued with a content analysis of news media's photographs. The author argues that critics gain a deeper understanding of the disappearing dead phenomenon of Iraqi civilians by examining ideographic fragments of psycho-dynamic rhetoric.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Rhidenour, Kayla
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Description: This thesis project explores Chicana feminist Gloria AnzaldĂșa'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

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

Leadership Communication Among Kindergarten Children in a Structured Play Environment

Description: 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.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Giraud, Jeffrey B. (Jeffrey Brian)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mediated chameleons: An integration of nonconscious behavioral mimicry and the parallel process model of nonverbal communication.

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Beatty, Keturi D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Protecting Patriarchy: an Historical/Critical Analysis of Promise Keepers, an All-Male Social Movement

Description: 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.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Eddleman, Libby Jean
Partner: UNT Libraries