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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

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)

"Respect is active like an organism that is not only cumulative but has a very personal effect": A grounded theory methodology of a respect communication model in the college classroom.

Description: This study examined the notion of respect in the college classroom. While pedagogical researchers had previously studied the phenomenon, each found challenges in defining it. Moreover, communication scholars do not examine respect as a primary pedagogical factor with learning implications. Focus groups provided venues for topic-specific discussion necessary for better understanding the diversity of students' worldviews regarding respect in the college classroom. Grounded theory allowed for searching theoretical relevance of the phenomenon through constant comparison with categorical identification. The most practical contributions of this research identifies as several major notions including, the importance of relationships within the process, student self-esteem, and global-classroom respect. In addition, implications emerged from the data as learning, motivation, and environment. One other practical contribution exists as a respect communication model for the college classroom. Further, examining students' worldviews of respect in the classroom provides benefits for pedagogical scholars, students, and instructors.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Martinez, Alma

Deleuze, Femininity and the Specter of Poststructural Politics: Variations on the Materiality of Rhetoric

Description: In this thesis I rethink the materiality of rhetoric in a minor key. I review poststructural and psychoanalytic endeavors to position rhetoric from within the postmodern and poststructural critique of the subject. I move beyond the logic of influence (dependent on a flawed conception of object) and hermeneutics (the correspondingly flawed methodology). In this endeavor, I primarily enlist Deleuze and Guattari (1987) for a conceptual apparatus that enlivens the "thinness" of rhetoric's (neo)Aristotelian conceptual design (cf. Gaonkar, 1997a, 1997b). I offer Monster (2003) as a case study, analyzing the discursive expression of nondiscursive abstract machines to draw out the reterritorializations of the latter. Recognizing the impossibility of complete reterritorialization I map one artifact that reinvests difference in itself, Dancer in the Dark (2000). Finally, in the epilogue I provide a brief recapitulation of minor politics, and offer a summarization of the utility of rhetoric.
Date: December 2004
Creator: May, Matthew S.

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.

Emergency Physician Communication Style and Career Satisfaction: Is There a Correlation?

Description: The correlation between social style and career satisfaction among emergency physicians was investigated. An e-mail survey was sent to a random sample of 1,000 members of the American College of Emergency Physicians in practice for at least three years; 707 had valid e-mail addresses. A twenty-item behavioral style survey instrument and a five-item career satisfaction scale were used. The study incorporated prenotification and reminder e-mails. Valid responses were obtained from 329 physicians (46.5%). No correlation was shown between social style and career satisfaction. Problems with both survey instruments were discovered. Survey respondents were unhappy with their careers, with an average satisfaction of 4.03, 1 being very satisfied, 5 very dissatisfied. Areas for future study include redoing the study using different survey instruments.
Date: December 2002
Creator: McEwen, Janet S.

More connections, less connection: An examination of the effects of computer-mediated communication on relationships.

Description: The impact of computer-mediated communication (CMC) on relational behavior is a topic of increasing interest to communication scholars (McQuillen, 2003; Tidwell & Walther, 2002). One of the most interesting issues that CMC raises concerns the impact of CMC on relational maintenance and development. Using dialectical theory, social exchange theory, social information processing theory, and the hyperpersonal perspective as theoretical frameworks, this study used quantitative and qualitative analyses to identity potential effects of CMC on relationships. Study 1 (n=317) examined the effects of CMC on relational closeness, satisfaction, and social support. Study 2 (n=196) explored the reasons individuals provide for privileging computer-mediated forms of communication, and the perceived effects of using CMC in relational communication. Results indicated that quality of CMC predicted increased perceptions of social support and relationship satisfaction. Results further suggested that CMC enabled participants to manage more effectively relational tensions of autonomy-connection and openness-closedness. Specifically, individuals used CMC to retain higher levels of conversational control, and to maintain greater numbers of relationships with decreased levels of investment. This paper concludes with a discussion of implications and directions for future research.
Date: December 2006
Creator: McGlynn, Joseph

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

The Terministic Filter of Security: Realism, Feminism and International Relations Theory

Description: This study uses Kenneth Burke's concept of terministic filters to examine what the word security means to two different publics within the academic discipline of international relations. It studies the rhetoric feminist international relations theorists and contrasts their view security with that of realist and neo-realist interpretations of international affairs. This study claims to open up the possibility for studying the rhetoric of emergent movements through the use of dramatistic or terministic screens.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Mueller, Eric

The glocalization and acculturation of HIV/AIDS: The role of communication in the control and prevention of the epidemic in Uganda.

Description: Grounded in the social constructivism tradition, this study examined the role of communication in the glocalization and acculturation of HIV/AIDS by a section of sexually active Ugandans then living in Rakai district during the advent of the epidemic in 1982. Sixty-four women and men participated in ten focus group discussions in Rakai and Kampala districts. Five themes emerged from the data highlighting how individuals and communities made sense of the epidemic, the omnipresence of death, how they understood the HIV/AIDS campaign, and how they are currently coping with its backlash. The study concludes that HIV/AIDS is socially constructed and can be understood better from local perspectives rather than from a globalized view. The study emphasizes the integration of cultural idiosyncrasies in any health communication campaigns to realize behavioral change.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Muwanguzi, Samuel

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

Staying Connected: Technology Use in Grandparent-grandchild Relationships

Description: Despite the distance that often separates grandparents from their young adult grandchildren, the abundance of new technologies provides numerous means of connection for the grandparent-grandchild (GP-GC) dyad. The purpose of this study was to understand how grandparents use technology, namely text messaging and Facebook, in relationships with their young adult grandchildren. Specifically, the aim was to understand grandparents' purposes for using these technologies with their grandchildren, their motivations for using these technologies, and their perceptions of these technologies. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 23 grandparent participants and analyzed according to the procedures delineated in grounded theory analysis. Both text messaging and Facebook emerged as important tools for connection, as text messaging encourages more frequent communication and Facebook helps grandparents "fill in the gaps" about their grandchildren's lives. Furthermore, results indicated that grandparents' uses of text messaging, and to a lesser extent Facebook, are acts of accommodation to their grandchildren.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Novak, Hannah R.

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)

Cyberbullying: When Bullies Follow You Home.

Description: Researchers have studied adolescent bullying behavior since the 1970s, however, today's technological advances have opened the door to a new form of abuse. Teens can no longer escape the wrath of their bullies once they have left the school grounds, because bullies are following them home. Cyberbullying is a new phenomenon in which bullies use computer-mediated communication (CMC) to torment their victims. This research project focused on uncovering some of the mysteries surrounding this new means of bullying. A grounded theory analysis of stories written by victims revealed cyberbullies often use synchronous chat tools, e-mail, web sites, and cell phone text messages to reach their victims. Data analysis also revealed victims use of contextualization, descriptions of their bullying episodes, and discussions of their responses and outcomes to characterize their experiences. Interestingly, the researcher found victims of cyberbullying generally were also victims off face-to-face bullying as well.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Phillips Newton, Ann E.

"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

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

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

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

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.

Programming homeland security: Citizen preparedness and the threat of terrorism.

Description: This thesis tests the necessity of terrorism in articulating Homeland Security citizenship. Chapter 1 orients the study, reviewing relevant literature. Chapter 2 examines the USDHS Ready Kids program's Homeland Security Guide, mapping a baseline for how Homeland Security citizenship is articulated with the overt use of terrorism. Chapter 3 investigates the USDHS Ready Kids program, charting the logic of Homeland Security citizenship when the threat of terrorism is removed from sense making about preparedness. Chapter 4 compares the findings of Chapters 2 and 3, evaluating the similarities and differences between these two articulations of Homeland Security citizenship and concluding that the logic that cements Homeland Security into American society does not depend on the threat of terrorism against the United States.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Register, David

Ideographs, Fragments, and Strategic Absences: An Ideographic Analysis of <Collateral Damage>

Description: This study examined the ideograph of <collateral damage> through an analysis of the Bush Administration's rhetoric as well as visual photographs of Iraqi civilian deaths. The project argues that the psycho-dynamic rhetoric of the Bush Administration during a time of visual censorship lead to the dehumanization of Iraqi civilian deaths during the War in Iraq. The method consisted of a textual analysis of the Bush Administration's rhetoric and continued with a content analysis of news media's photographs. The author argues that critics gain a deeper understanding of the disappearing dead phenomenon of Iraqi civilians by examining ideographic fragments of psycho-dynamic rhetoric.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Rhidenour, Kayla

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

Performing "Camp, Vamp & Femme Fatale": Revisiting, Reinventing & Retelling the Lives of Post-Death, Retro-Gothic Women

Description: This thesis examines the production process for "Camp, Vamp and Femme Fatale," performed at the University of North Texas in April of 1997. The first chapter applies Henry Jenkins's theory of textual poaching to the authors' and cast's reappropriation of cultural narratives about female vampires. The chapter goes on to survey the narrative, cinematic and critical work on women as vampires. As many of the texts were developed as part of the fantasy role-playing game Vampire: The Masquerade, this chapter also surveys how fantasy role-playing develops unpublished texts that can make fruitful ground for performance studies. The second chapter examines the rehearsal and production process in comparison to the work of Glenda Dickerson and other feminist directors.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Ruane, Richard T.

Booty Calls, Rage, and Racialized/sexualized Subjects: Tmz's Coverage of Rihanna and Chris Brown

Description: Internet-based celebrity gossip blog site, TMZ, is a growing cultural force. Employing critical rhetorical analytics, the author examines the TMZ coverage of Chris Brown's assault on his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. This project explicates TMZ's enthymematic invocation of dominant cultural ideologies surrounding race, sex, and domestic violence. Chapter 1 demonstrates the theoretical importance of both celebrities and gossip blogs, signaling the ideological importance of each. Chapter 2 critiques TMZ's reliance on historic myths regarding sex and race in their reporting on this case. Chapter 3 analyzes TMZ's humorous and affective strategies that bolster broader investments in colorblind ideologies. Chapter 4 concludes by examining the interplay of formal rhetorical elements that inform the project's findings. This research reveals that TMZ utilizes affective, enthymematic strategies that camouflage broader racist and sexist ideological impulses that perpetuate domestic violence myths.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Sabino, Lauren