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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

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

Description: Grounded in a social penetration perspective, this exploratory study aspires to examine the impact of self-disclosure on intercultural friendship development between Taiwanese and native English speakers by a section of the following populations: (a) Taiwanese sojourning in the US, (b) native English speakers sojourning in Taiwan, and (c) Taiwanese in Taiwan. This research employed a triangulation of quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews to answer the proposed research questions and hypothesis regarding four dimensions and six topics of self-disclosure. Consistent with the quantitative results, the five themes that emerged from the qualitative analysis indicate both unique challenges in self-disclosing to intercultural friends and a positive association between self-disclosure and cultural adaptation. Additionally, this study highlights the role of self-disclosure in the four identified stages of intercultural friendship development. Finally, findings from this study have implications for the social penetration theory, anxiety/uncertainly management theory, and theory of adaptation in intercultural dyads.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Chen, Yea Wen

Living with s(k)in: An analysis of tattoo removal.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Downing, Emily

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)

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

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

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

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

Description: 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.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Gonzales, Melinda Arteaga

Organizational Rhetoric in the Academy: Junior Faculty Perceptions and Roles

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

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

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.

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

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

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)

The Emergence of Organization Through Communication

Description: 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.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Hope, Michael

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

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

A Case Study of NASA's Columbia Tragedy: An Organizational Learning and Sensemaking Approach to Organizational Crisis.

Description: 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.
Date: December 2007
Creator: James, Eric Preston

Beyond Suzie Wong? An Analysis of Sandra Oh’s Portrayal in Grey’s Anatomy

Description: 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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Jones, Norma

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

The Myth of Emmetropia: Perception in Rhetorical Studies

Description: 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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Kaszynski, Elizabeth

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)

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

A study of cultural variability and relational maintenance behaviors for international and domestic proximal and long distance interpersonal relationships.

Description: This thesis examined 228 college students' reported use of relational maintenance behaviors and strategies and their reported perception of the degree of relational satisfaction and solidarity with the relational partners they chose to identify. The study gathered extensive data with the intention of primarily investigating the validity and reliability of measurement of relational maintenance behaviors across cultures with some attention to correlations between relationship maintenance behaviors, relationship satisfaction, and interpersonal solidarity. The study focused on refining previous measures of relationship maintenance behaviors in order to develop a comprehensive global measure. The study found that a linear combination of factors or relationship maintenance behaviors are related to relational satisfaction and interpersonal solidarity.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Kidenda, Thomas J.