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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.

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)

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

A Study of the Relationships among Teachers' Immediacy of Dress Factors and Affective Learning Factors: a Relational Communication Perspective

Description: This thesis examined the relationships among immediacy of dress factors and affective learning factors as they pertain to relational communication. College students (N = 482) completed questionnaires indicating perceptions of selected nonverbal immediacy behaviors associated with their teacher's attire. The research predicted that there would be relationships between and among power and affinity of dress, dress immediacy and nonverbal immediacy. Further predictions were made concerning the associations among these variables, affective learning outcomes, and other teacher criteria. Analysis indicated that power of dress, affinity of dress and dress immediacy were viable nonverbal immediacy concepts which related to affective learning outcomes. Research findings indicated that certain instructor variables may also influence these relationships.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Burks, Mark

Faculty Identification: Effects on Culture in a Metropolitan Research University

Description: 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.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Gray, Marlene E.

Androgyny and Managerial Effectiveness in a Total Quality Management Organization

Description: 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.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Byers, Lori A. (Lori Ann)

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

This Isn't About Me: Communication Privacy Management Theory and Public Confession

Description: Individuals at the DFW Church publicly confess intensely personal information, such as drug and alcohol addiction, spousal and child abuse, stripping, and sexual abuse. Using communication privacy management theory (CPM), I examined the way individuals at the DFW Church manage their private information, how they make disclosure decisions, and how they manage boundaries around their private information. I interviewed 13 individuals who participated in public confession, and coded their responses to identify the common themes and tactics for making disclosure decisions. Through this process, I pioneer the application of CPM to examine public disclosure events, rather than dyadic or small group disclosures. I also expand our current understanding of motivations for disclosure; rather than focusing on selfish or therapeutic motivations, participants want to encourage others through their disclosure. In terms of boundary management, individuals at the DFW Church believe that God owns part, or all, of their information; thus, disclosing their pasts is "not about them." Participants construct a new identity through their testimony narrative, effectively putting the old person in the past and presenting a new, Christian identity to the church body for group approval. In this context, confessing a negative behavior becomes a way to build a positive image by showing the drastic reformation that has taken place in that person's life. Lastly, I propose the public disclosure model—which involves boundary testing, audience analysis, and choice of disclosure path—to be tested for use in future research.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Brittain, Kära Ann Caskey