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

Description: This thesis examined how receivers who vary in Interaction Involvement and Locus of Control (LOC) might differ in their interpretations of service complaints. Locus of control was measured using Rotter's (1966) LOC scale, while Interaction Involvement was measured with Cegala's (1984) Interaction Involvement measure, including a separate assessment of the effects for each sub-scale. Individuals were assigned to four groups based on their Interaction Involvement and LOC scores. The groups were compared with one-another for differences in how complaints were interpreted. Four complaint categories and a corresponding scale were developed to measure these differences. The categories were Subject, Goal, Opportunity, and Accountability. Interaction Involvement was expected to affect how receivers interpret the subject and goal of a complaint, while LOC was predicted to affect understanding of the opportunity and accountability aspects. Two research questions explored possible relationships between the complaint categories and the independent variables for individuals within each group. The study's four hypotheses were not supported, although some evidence was found for a significant relationship between receiver Interaction Involvement and perceived complainant Opportunity, for External LOC individuals only.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Reed, William

We've Only Just Begun: A Black Feminist Analysis of Eleanor Smeal's National Press Club Address

Description: The voices of black women have traditionally been excluded from rhetorical scholarship, both as a subject of study and as a methodological approach. Despite the little attention black feminist thought has received, black women have long been articulating the unique intersection of oppressions they face and have been developing critical epistemologies.This study analyzes the National Press Club address given by NOW President Eleanor Smeal utilizing a black feminist methodological approach. The study constructs a black feminist theory for the communication discipline and applies it to a discursive artifact from the women's liberation movement. The implications of the study include the introduction of a new methodological approach to the communication discipline that can expand the liberatory reach of its scholarship.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Tate, Tara L.

You don't know me but can I be your friend? Accepting strangers as friends in Facebook.

Description: Users in social networking sites, such as Facebook, are increasingly receiving friend requests from strangers and accepting strangers as friends. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of the Big Five personality traits and strangers' gender in affecting Facebook users' decisions to accept the stranger's friend request by adopting a 2 (gender of the stranger: male vs. female) x 5 (stranger's personality: Neuroticism vs. Extraversion vs. Openness vs. Conscientiousness vs. Agreeableness) factorial design. Results revealed that participants were more likely to accept the stranger's friend request when the participant's and stranger's personalities matched. This effect was more pronounced when the stranger was a female. Participants accepted female stranger's friend request due to the inflated perception of stereotypical female characteristics, which supported the hyperpersonal effect. Majority of the participants accepted the stranger's friend request based on textual cues that were displayed in the friend request message, which supported social information processing theory, suggesting that impression formation of the stranger was not constrained to the lack of nonverbal cues setting.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Leow, Serena

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

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

"It's never been this bad...ever": An analysis of K-12 teachers' standpoints related to parent-teacher communication.

Description: With the rise of "helicopter" parents within primary and secondary education, school officials nationwide have started to address how to manage parental involvement in the educational system, specifically with regard to parent-teacher communication. Beginning in the 1980s, school administrators actively implemented programs targeting increased parental involvement in K-12 public schools, though the use of contact and relationship building strategies, in order to substantiate school-teacher-parent communication and further parental influence over decision making processes. While administrators and parents may view parent-teacher interactions as productive, teachers' negative experiences with parents may lead to stress, burnout, and attrition. Researchers have indicated that between 20 and 50% of first through third year teachers leave the profession due to increased, long-term stress, unrealistic workload, and an overall feeling of decreased personal and professional fulfillment. Likewise, through educational reform initiatives to standardize curriculum and increase parental involvement within public schools, teachers' roles within the educational system have shifted from positions of power, to figureheads for the system. The purpose of this study is to examine public school K-12 teachers' standpoints as they relate to parent-teacher communication.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Thomas-Seltzer, Ashley

Social Movements, Subjectivity, and Solidarity: Witnessing Rhetoric of the International Solidarity Movement

Description: This study engaged in pushing the current political limitations created by the political impasse of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, by imagining new possibilities for radical political change, agency, and subjectivity for both the international activists volunteering with the International Solidarity Movement as well as Palestinians enduring the brutality of life under occupation. The role of the witness and testimony is brought to bear on activism and rhetoric the social movement ISM in Palestine. Approaches the past studies of the rhetoric of social movements arguing that rhetorical studies often disassociated 'social' from social movements, rendering invisible questions of the social and subjectivity from their frames for evaluation. Using the testimonies of these witnesses, Palestinians and activists, as the rhetorical production of the social movement, this study provides an effort to put the social body back into rhetorical studies of social movements. The relationships of subjectivity and desubjectification, as well as, possession of subjects by agency and the role of the witness with each of these is discussed in terms of Palestinian and activist potential for subjectification and desubjectifiation.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Wachsmann, Emily Brook

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

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

Description: This thesis project explores Chicana feminist Gloria AnzaldĂșa'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

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 Rocking the Vote: An Analysis of Rhetoric Designed to Motivate Young Voters

Description: Attempts to solve the continued problem of low youth voter turnout in the U.S. have included get out the vote drives, voter registration campaigns, and public service announcements targeting 18- to 25-year-old voters. Pay Attention and Vote added to this effort to motivate young voters in its 2006 campaign. This thesis analyzes the rhetorical strategies employed by the Pay Attention and Vote campaign advertisements, measures their effectiveness, and adds to the limited body of knowledge describing the attitudes and behaviors of young nonvoters. This thesis applies a mixed method approach, utilizing both rhetorical criticism and quantitative method. The results of both analyses are integrated into a discussion which critiques current strategies of addressing the youth voter turnout problem and offers suggestions for future research on the topic.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Brewer, Angela

Rhapsody in Green - A Happening: An Examination of the Happening as a Rhetorical Tool

Description: In this study I outline seven characteristics of a traditional Happening (the use of games and play, an inherent intertextual element, an emphasis on place/space, an element/spirit of anarchy, an element of chance, an emphasis on the fusion of art with everyday life, and the existence of both a purpose and a meaning) and seek to determine which characteristics contribute to the Happening's current usage as a rhetorical tool. I created a traditional Happening containing a message of environmental consumption and destruction, and surveyed audience members regarding their interpretation and experience. The survey responses were coded using a top-down narrative analysis. I discovered that intertextuality, place/space, and the fusion of art with everyday life are particularly effective communicators of a message in a socially or politically conscious Happening.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Walker, Rebecca Ann

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.

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

Learner-to-Learner: Refocusing the Lens of Educational Immediacy

Description: As the current body of instructional communication research focuses primarily on the relationship between teacher and learner, three studies investigating the relationship between learners were completed in order to better understand how student motivation and learning are influenced by learner-to-learner immediacy behaviors within the college classroom environment. Study I resulted in an extensive list of both positive and negative verbal and nonverbal immediacy behaviors commonly used by learners. Study II required the comparison of the behaviors identified in study one to existing measures of teacher to learner immediacy behaviors, producing a new measure focusing on learner-to-learner immediacy. Following a pilot survey, the reliability of this new measure was determined through face validity and factor analysis, producing the Learner-to-Learner Immediacy Behavior Scale. In Study III, the Learner-to-Learner Immediacy Behavior Scale was combined with Christophel's 1990 Immediacy Behavior Scale, Cognitive Learning Scale, Affective Learning Scale, and Trait and State Motivation Scales and administered to 273 undergraduate students to test the affects of common learner-to-learner immediacy behaviors on student state motivation, affective learning, and perceptions of cognitive learning loss. Multiple regression analyses indicated learner-to-learner immediacy as functioning similarly to teacher-to-student immediacy when mediated through state motivation in its influence on student affective learning and perceptions of cognitive learning loss.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Keller, Christine Ida

Grounds-Based and Grounds-Free Voluntarily Child Free Couples: Privacy Management and Reactions of Social Network Members

Description: Voluntarily child free (VCF) individuals face stigmatization in a pronatalist society that labels those who do not want children as deviant. Because of this stigmatization, VCF couples face privacy issues as they choose to reveal or conceal their family planning decision and face a variety of reactions from social network members. Therefore, communication privacy management and communication accommodation theory was use to examine this phenomenon. Prior research found two different types of VCF couples: grounds-based and grounds-free. Grounds-based individuals cite medical or biological reasons for not having children, while grounds-free individuals cite social reasons for not having children. The purpose of this study is to examine how grounds-based and grounds-free VCF couples manage their disclosure of private information and how social network members react to their family planning decision. Findings revealed that grounds-free individuals are more likely to engage in the self-defense hypothesis and grounds-based individuals are more likely to engage in the expressive need hypothesis. Grounds-based individuals were asked about their decision in dyadic situations, whereas grounds-free individuals were asked at group gatherings. Additionally, social network members used under-accommodation strategies the most frequently and grounds-free individuals experienced more name calling than grounds-based. Finally, while grounds-free individuals experienced non-accommodation and over-accommodation strategies, grounds-based did not. Findings suggest that grounds-free individuals are more stigmatized by social network members. Implications for merging CPM and CAT are discussed.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Regehr, Kelly A.

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

"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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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