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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Internet-based celebrity gossip blog site, TMZ, is a growing cultural force. Employing critical rhetorical analytics, the author examines the TMZ coverage of Chris Brown's assault on his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. This project explicates TMZ's enthymematic invocation of dominant cultural ideologies surrounding race, sex, and domestic violence. Chapter 1 demonstrates the theoretical importance of both celebrities and gossip blogs, signaling the ideological importance of each. Chapter 2 critiques TMZ's reliance on historic myths regarding sex and race in their reporting on this case. Chapter 3 analyzes TMZ's humorous and affective strategies that bolster broader investments in colorblind ideologies. Chapter 4 concludes by examining the interplay of formal rhetorical elements that inform the project's findings. This research reveals that TMZ utilizes affective, enthymematic strategies that camouflage broader racist and sexist ideological impulses that perpetuate domestic violence myths.
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.
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.
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.
Patent litigation is notorious for the technicality of evidence and the rhetoric of experts. Citizens selected to serve on the jury have no specialized training and have rarely been exposed to the technology or the patent process. This study provides insight into the field of jury decision-making in complex patent cases by analyzing the cognitive gaps and the tactics used by jurors to minimize them. Additionally, the study examines the justifications for the damage awards jurors provide. This analysis focused on jurors engaged in mock trial patent deliberations. The story model and sensemaking theory serve as the theoretical framework of this research and provide a structure for support and a lens for analysis. The results indicate that jurors rely on three distinct and dichotomous topologies when navigating cognitive gaps. Searching for answers either individually or as a group, relying on lists or stories, and turning to facts or emotions, jurors navigate through their uncertainty. Through the line-by-line analysis of mock jury transcriptions, three continuums regarding damage justifications emerged. Jury members found themselves navigating uncertainty versus certainty, rationality versus irrationality, and facts versus emotions. The theoretical implications broaden the story model to include cognitive gaps in all phases and increase the model's efficacy in patent litigation through the addition of a fourth phase. This study also confirms and enhances the use of sensemaking to describe the jury decision-making process. The results of this study should be applied practically to the field of patent litigation. Results should be used to create a user-friendly environment where the high stakes of litigation demand increased juror understanding and are critical to justice.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The environmental problems associated with the boom in hydraulic fracturing or "fracking," such as anthropogenic earthquakes and groundwater contamination, have motivated some citizens living in affected areas such as Denton, Texas to form movements with the goal of imposing greater regulation on the industry. As responses to an environmental threat that is localized and yet mobile, these anti-fracking movements must construct rhetorical appeals with complicated relationships to place. In this thesis, I examine the anti-fracking movement in Denton, Texas in a series of three rhetorical analyses. In the first, I compared fracking bans used by Frack Free Denton and State College, Pennsylvania to distinguish the argumentative claims that are dependent on the politics of place, and affect strategies localities must use in resisting natural gas extraction. In the second, I compare campaign strategies that use local identity as a way of invoking legitimacy, which reinforces narrative frameworks of environmental risk. In the third, I conduct and analyze interviews with anti-fracking leaders who described the narrative of their movement, which highlighted tensions in the rhetorical construction of a movement as local. Altogether, this thesis traces the rhetorical conception of place across the rhetoric of the anti-fracking movement in Denton, Texas, while seeking to demonstrate the value of combining rhetorical criticism with rhetorical field methods.
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 ...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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