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Effects of Receiver Locus of Control and Interaction Involvement on the Interpretation of Service Complaints

Description: 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.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Reed, William

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

An Analysis of Gay/Lesbian Instructor Identity in the Classroom

Description: 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.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Giovanini, Heather

Milk machines: Exploring the breastfeeding apparatus.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Kimball, Karen Yeager

From "Living Hell" to "New Normal": Illuminating Self-Identity, Stigma Negotiation, and Mutual Support among Female Former Sex Workers

Description: 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.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Mayer, Jennifer L.

Nontraditional name changes for men: Attitudes of men and women.

Description: 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.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Millspaugh, Jennifer Diane

Pedagogical Approach and Instructional Format: An Exploration of the Introductory Communication Course

Description: 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.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Tucker, Kristan Ann

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

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.

"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

What's Real Anymore: A Comparison of World of Warcraft, SecondLife and Online Experiences

Description: The proliferation of the Internet and online-based social interactions has become an increasingly popular topic with communication scholars. The goal of this study was to explore how massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG) players make sense of and negotiate their online social interactions. This study (N = 292) examined how players of SecondLife and World of Warcraft evaluated their online relationships compared to their offline relationships and investigated how different levels of realism within different MMORPGs effected player's online experiences. The results indicated that players of SecondLife placed higher values of emotional closeness to their online relationships when compared to players of World of Warcraft and SecondLife was rated more real by its players than World of Warcraft. Results further indicated that players of SecondLife had higher levels of perceived online emotional closeness when compared to perceived offline emotional closeness. Implications of this study focus on developing a bottom up holistic profile of online game players as opposed to the current top down research model.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Tran, Chris

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

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

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

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.

"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

"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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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