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The Power of the Servant Teacher

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Brandon, Joshua R.

Tracing the Evolution of Collaborative Virtual Research Environments: A Critical Events-Based Perspective

Description: A significant number of scientific projects pursuing large scale, complex investigations involve dispersed research teams, which conduct a large part or their work virtually. Virtual Research Environments (VREs), cyberinfrastructure that facilitates coordinated activities amongst dispersed scientists, thus provide a rich context to study organizational evolution. Due to the constantly evolving nature of technologies, it is important to understand how teams of scientists, system developers, and managers respond to critical incidents. Critical events are organizational situations that trigger strategic decision making to adjust structure or redirect processes in order to maintain balance or improve an already functioning system. This study examines two prominent VREs: The United States Virtual Astronomical Observatory (US-VAO) and the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) in order to understand how these environments evolve through critical events and strategic choices. Communication perspectives lend themselves well to a study of VRE development and evolution because of the central role occupied by communication technologies in both the functionality and management of VREs. Using the grounded theory approach, this study uses organizational reports to trace how critical events and their resulting strategic choices shape these organizations over time. The study also explores how disciplinary demands influence critical events.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Trudeau, Ashley B

From Brecht to Butler: an Analysis of Dirty Grrrls

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

Shall We Play a Game?: The Performative Interactivity of Video Games

Description: This study examines the ways that videogames and live performance are informed by play theory. Utilizing performance studies methodologies, specifically personal narrative and autoperformance, the project explores the embodied ways that gamers know and understand videogames. A staged performance, “Shall We Play a Game?,” was crafted using Brechtian theatre techniques and Conquergood’s three A’s of performance, and served as the basis for the examination. This project seeks to dispel popular misconceptions about videogames and performance and to expand understanding about videogaming as an embodied performative practice and a way of knowing that has practical implications for everyday life.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Beck, Michael J.

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

Description: This study examined to what extent the biological sex of the nurse-physician interactants affects the interpersonal communication satisfaction experienced by the nurse. Hypotheses One and Two predicted that communication satisfaction would differ significantly across various combinations of sex of nurse and sex of physician dyads. Hypothesis Three predicted that male nurses would experience higher levels of communication satisfaction than would female nurses. Interpersonal communication satisfaction was operationalized by two self-report instruments. The sample included 153 male and female nurses. Results indicated that same-sex interactions were more satisfying for female nurses, while mixed-sex interactions were more satisfying for male nurses. Nurses reported greater communication satisfaction when interacting with female physicians. Hypothesis three was not supported.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Glenn, Theresa Hammerstein

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

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

A Study of the Relationships among Relational Maintenance Strategy Usage, Communicator Style and Romantic Relational Satisfaction

Description: This thesis examined student-participants' self-reported use of romantic relational maintenance strategies and their partners' reports of relational satisfaction. Additionally, individuals outside the romantic relationship reported on student-participants' general communicator style. The research proposed that general style reports would be predictive of relational maintenance strategy usage and of romantic partners' relational satisfaction. The study found that general style behaviors may not be indicative of relational maintenance strategy usage or romantic partners' relational satisfaction. Tests of sex differences revealed that females' expression of various relational maintenance strategies and style behaviors are associated with male partners' relational satisfaction; however, no results were obtained indicating specific behaviors expressed by males result in female partners' relational satisfaction.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Hardin, Charla (Charla LeeAnn)

A Rhetorical Analysis of Major Oil Companies' Advertisements in 1990 : A Semiotic Approach

Description: This study demonstrates how discourse is used to construct popular myths. This study analyzes magazine advertisements used by businesses in overcoming the rhetorical problem posed by a public opinion that blamed them for environmental problems. This study shows how businesses used advertisements to construct a popular myth that businesses were doing their part in overcoming the environmental crisis.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Barton, Mica Waggoner

Social Drama at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary : The Dilday Controversy

Description: This study examines the events surrounding the firing of Russell Dilday at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as a social drama. The results suggest that, for application to post-industrial cultures, adaptations need to be made to Victor Turner's original method. The addition of Thomas Farrell's anticipation phase, identification of the breach with the transgression, and examination of unique facets of post-industrial cultures such as economic factors and the role of the media are recommended modifications. In light of these differences, the study concludes that the state of affairs at Southwestern is characteristic of schism in a post-industrial culture.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Drake, Webster F. (Webster Ford)

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

Protection or Equality? : A Feminist Analysis of Protective Labor Legislation in UAW v. Johnson Controls, Inc.

Description: This study provides a feminist analysis of protective labor legislation in the Supreme Court case of UAW v. Johnson Controls, Inc. History of protection rhetoric and precedented cases leading up to UAW are provided. Using a feminist analysis, this study argues that the victory for women's labor rights in UAW is short lived, and the cycle of protection rhetoric continues with new pro-business agendas replacing traditional justifications for "protecting" women in the work place. The implications of this and other findings are discussed.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Lowery, Christina

The Differences in the Media Constructions of the Narratives of Male and Female Political Candidates

Description: 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.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Paschal, Lori L. (Lori Lynne)

A Dialectical Approach to Studying Long-Distance Maintenance Strategies

Description: 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.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Maguire, Katheryn C. (Katheryn Coveley)

The Rhetoric of Technological Flaws: Intel's Pentium Processor

Description: This study analyzes the apologies presented by Intel Corporation as a response to the Pentium™ microprocessor controversy. Dr. Andrew Grove's November 27,1994, Internet posting to the comp.sys.intel usegroup and Intel's December 20,1994, press release are analyzed using the methods of genre criticism. Further, a situational analysis is presented of the exigence and the audience. The exigence is represented by the relationship of society to technology while the audience is Internet users. This analysis attempts to demonstrate how situational factors constrain discourse related to technological flaws.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Burns, Judith Poitras

A Communication Based Model of Power

Description: 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.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Keefer, Larry D. (Larry Dale)

Poppin' Their Thang: African American Blueswomen and Multiple Jeopardy

Description: 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.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Wright, Delane E. (Delane Elizabeth)

Purification Rhetoric: A Generic Analysis of Draft Card, Flag, and Cross Burning Cases

Description: This thesis assesses three United States Supreme Court opinions, engaging in an inductive approach to generic criticism, in an attempt to discover whether or not there are similarities and/or differences in these decisions. This study focuses on draft card, flag, and cross burning cases argued before the Court in order to discover the potential genre's characteristics.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Pollard, Donald Kent

A Study of the Relationships among Student Expectations about Teacher Nonverbal Immediacy, Student Perceptions of Teacher Nonverbal Immediacy, and Affective Learning in Distance Learning and the On-Site Classroom

Description: This thesis explored the relationships among three communication variables in college-level instruction: students' expectancy about teachers' nonverbal immediacy, students' actual perceptions of teachers' nonverbal immediacy, and students' affective learning. Community college students enrolled in either distance learning or a traditional classroom course completed pre-course and mid-course questionnaires to indicate their expectations and observations of the nonverbal immediacy behaviors of their teachers. Analysis showed that students expected and perceived less nonverbal immediacy from tele-course teachers than from on-site teachers, but that perceptions significantly exceeded expectations. Research findings indicated that students' expectancies about teachers' nonverbal immediacy may influence the measurement of affective learning.
Date: July 1997
Creator: Witt, Paul L.

Enacting Racism: Clarence Thomas, George Bush, and the Construction of Social Reality

Description: 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.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Ramsey, Evelyn Michele Eaton

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)