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Heresy vs. Orthodoxy: The Preus/Tietjen Controversy

Description: Using the framework set up by rhetorical critic Thomas M. Lessl in his article "Heresy, Orthodoxy, And The Politics Of Science", this study examines the ways in which heretical discourse defines community boundaries and shapes perceptions of right belief. Specifically, this study analyzes the historic conflict in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod which produced the doctrinal statement "A Statement of Scriptural and Confessional Principles". Comparison is made between this event and other "heretical" conflicts in other discourse communities. This study concludes that community boundaries must be drawn, and that a doctrinal or policy statement is a useful rhetorical tool to accomplish such a task. Rhetorical critics may assist in this by examining heretical conflicts as historical trends, rather than emotional dissonance.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Barnhart, Melody R. (Melody Ruth)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Rhetoric of Spiro T. Agnew: a Neo-Aristotelian Analysis of Agnew's Views Concerning the Media

Description: In November 1969, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew delivered two speeches attacking two mediums. In the first speech, Agnew initiated charges of erroneous reporting and irresponsible actions on the part of the television networks. In the second speech, Agnew assailed the concentration of power in the hands of a few newspaper companies. In both cases, complaints and support were immediate and substantial. This study employs the Neo-Aristotelian method of criticism to discover: 1) the extent to which Agnew was influenced by his past, and 2) how Agnew's rhetoric exhibited methods of rhetorical polarization. This study concludes that Agnew's past played a dominant role in his rhetoric. Further research in a variety of related areas is suggested.
Date: August 1990
Creator: Voorhees, Blain E. (Blain Eldon)
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Rhetorical Analysis of Jimmy Swaggart's 1988-89 Program for Defense

Description: This study seeks to determine the extent to which Jimmy Swaggart's program for defense in 1988 complies with the expectations of the apologia genre. Three discourse media are examined for evidence of denial, bolstering, differentiation, and transcendence. Swaggart's defense is classified as "justificative" in that it seeks approval of actions. Swaggart's motivating drive force is defined as the need to assure the financial success of his ministry. Swaggart's defense is then compared with the past apologies of Nixon, Truman, and Kennedy. It was determined that certain apologies cannot serve as a reference standard if the contextual factors are not similar. There are some rhetorical resources available to religious figures that are not available to politicians.
Date: May 1990
Creator: Simonds, Cheri J. (Cheri Jo)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Toward a Critique of the Message Construct in Communication

Description: The idea of an inherent structure of meaning in human communication is identified as the message construct. Traces of the construct in textbook models of the basic communication process and in popular magazine images of communication are examined. The argument is raised that objectifying the message has resulted in a paradigm which focuses disproportionately on explicit, representational, and instrumental aspects of communication. An alternative conception is proposed which would take into account implicit, constitutive, and generative aspects.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Wilson, John K. (John Kenneth)
Partner: UNT Libraries

On Viewing Press Releases of the Texas State AFL-CIO as Rhetorical Genre

Description: Previous scholarship on labor rhetoric has concentrated on the impact of declining union membership and contemporary activist strategies on the part of unions. The press release is a common form of communication that organized labor employs in order to reach its publics. This study explores the press releases of the Texas State AFL-CIO to determine to what extent this level of labor discourse meets the criteria of a rhetorical genre. This study employs the methodology for generic criticism laid out by Foss for identifying genres. The study concludes that a genre of labor rhetoric exists and that the genre was used extensively to promote the Texas State AFL-CIO as a socially-conscious and politically motivated organization.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Welborn, Ronny D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Corporate Interlocks on Power and Constraint in the Telecommunications Industry

Description: Using the tools of structural and network analysis developed by Ronald R. Burt and others, this study investigated the communication patterns among corporate officers of American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (A.T. & T.) and United Telecommunications Corporation (Sprint). Data on contacts, efficiency, network density, and constraint indicate that opportunities for power and constraint have remained relatively stable at United Telecommunications between 1980 and 1990. A. A.T. & T., on the other hand, was more affected by the drastic changes in the telecommunication industry. The span of A.T. & T. has grown smaller and the potential for constraining relations among A. T. & T. and financial institutions has increased during the period 1980 and 1990.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Hickerson, Jon D. (Jon David)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Network Analysis of the Symmetric and Asymmetric Patterns of Conflict in an Organization

Description: Missing from extant conflict literature is an examination of both symmetric and asymmetric conflict ties. To address this void, network analysis was utilized to examine the responses (both symmetric and asymmetric conflict ties) of 140 employees and managers in four divisions of a large agency of the Federal Government. The study was limited to conflict over scarce resources. Conflict management methods were examined as well as the perceptions of how respondents both cope with and feel about conflict. The results indicate that when two people in a conflict setting are structurally equivalent they both report actions and feelings that are opposite from those of- the other person. This finding, an inverse contagion effect, has been termed diffusion resistance.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Helt, Kimberly M. (Kimberly Mae)
Partner: UNT Libraries

From Isolation to Action: A Metaphoric Analysis of Franklin Roosevelt's Pro-Preparation Rhetoric

Description: Virtually all studies on the presidential use of metaphor focus on one particular event and speech. These studies look only at speeches that justify military actions after they have already occurred, and these researchers seek to discover a relationship between the use of the metaphor and the public's support of a military action. In order to analyze the persuasive elements of President Franklin Roosevelt's rhetoric in developing popular and Congressional support for war preparation, this study seeks to answer three specific questions. To what extent does Franklin Roosevelt develop a common theme in selected speeches of war preparation immediately prior to World War II? To what extent was Roosevelt's development of this theme persuasive to the American public? What consequences can be anticipated if future presidents or speakers for social movements employ these procedures.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Garrett, Terry (Terry Joe)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Diplomacy Rhetoric and the Human Rights Appeals of Jeane J. Kirkpatrick and Vernon A. Walters

Description: This thesis investigates the extent to which Ambassador Kirkpatrick's and Ambassador Walters' United Nations discourses on human rights reflects the rhetorical themes of "prophetic dualism" and "technocratic realism." A metaphoric analysis of six speeches reveals that both Kirkpatrick's and Walters' arguments were framed through an ideological division between Democracy and Communism. The presence of "prophetic dualism" in Kirkpatrick's and Walters' discourses is explained as an extension of President Reagan's bipolar rhetoric on world affairs. The presence of "technocratic realism" in Walters' discourse is described as resulting from a unique set of political and rhetorical factors. The exacting nature of "prophetic dualism" may make it ill suited as a method of argument in the realm of diplomacy.
Date: May 1991
Creator: Rogina, Sergio A. (Sergio Armando)
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

"The Buck Stops With Me" : An Analysis of Janet Reno's Defensive Discourse in Response to the Branch Davidian Crisis

Description: This study provides a genre analysis of Janet Reno's apologia in response to the Mt. Carmel disaster. Discussions of the events leading up to the crisis, Reno's rhetorical response, and relevant situational constraints and exigencies are provided.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Davis, Shannon Renee
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Listening Skills Instruction on Students' Academic Performance

Description: Although it is widely assumed that listening is among the most important learning skills (Wolvin & Coakley, 1988), an examination of the literature indicates that it has been woefully neglected as subject matter in schools. Listening has also been neglected as an area of research. Surveys have been conducted to see if listening is being taught or can effectively be taught, but little evidence exists to suggest that effectively teaching listening improves students' academic performance. This study investigated the relationship between listening skills instruction and academic performance among university students. The purpose was to determine if teaching university students comprehensive listening skills improves their academic performance. It was assumed that listening can be effectively taught. The goal of the study was to compare 75 students who were enrolled in a listening course to a similar group of 75 students not enrolled in a listening course. The students were compared on the basis of grade point improvement the semester after the experimental group had completed the listening course. The t test was chosen because it can be used for testing the significance of the difference between the means of two independent samples. The grade point averages of the two groups were collected and the means and standard deviations of the two groups were determined. The t-value and the probability of rejection of the null hypothesis were also determined. The data showed little difference between the mean scores of the two groups or between the standard deviations of the two groups. The observed t-value did not support the hypothesis; therefore, there was insufficient evidence to reject the null, and the conclusion was that listening skills instruction has no impact on university students' academic performance.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Mangrum, C. W. (Clifton William)
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Young Children's Construction of Physical Knowledge on Swings in the Outdoor Play Environment

Description: This investigation examined the development of young children's behaviors on swings in the outdoor play environment and their emerging understanding of the physics principles associated with those behaviors. The children's language interactions were also examined in an effort to determine the relationship between language and cognitive development in their construction of physical knowledge. The procedures involved observing the children's behaviors and collecting samples of their spontaneous language interactions during their swinging activities. Informal interviews were also conducted with individual and groups of children. The findings indicate that young children's swinging behaviors develop in eight hierarchical stages. As these behaviors develop, children experiment with the physics principles of balance, gravity, force, resistance, and resonance. Children's swinging behaviors develop in a social context. Many early behaviors are acquired through observing and modeling other children. Language provides the medium for more-experienced peers to assist novice swingers through encouragement and direct instruction. The stage development of swinging behaviors is compared to Cratty's Theory of Perceptual-Motor Development and Harrow's Taxonomy of the Psychomotor Domain. Children's cognitive processing and language interactions are discussed in the context of Piagetian and Vygotskian theories of development. Implications for instruction and suggestions for further research are discussed.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Fox, Jill Englebright
Partner: UNT Libraries

Identifying Perceived Indicators of Institutional Quality in Bible Colleges Accredited by the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges

Description: The purpose of this study was to identify a selected set of perceived indicators of institutional quality for Bible colleges accredited by the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges (AABC). From the literature, 67 indicators of institutional quality in higher education and Bible colleges were identified and collected in a questionnaire, the Inventory of Determinants of Quality for Bible Colleges (IDQBC). The IDQBC was mailed to Bible college presidents, faculty members, alumni, and alumnae representing all 73 Bible colleges in the United States accredited by the AABC. Of the 448 surveys mailed, 309 were returned for a response rate of 69%. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedure was executed for each of the 67 IDQBC indicators to determine if the group means of the four study groups were significantly different. Of the 67 indicators evaluated, 12 were found to have significant differences among the study groups at the .01 level. Therefore, the study groups were in agreement as to the relative weight they assigned to 55 of the 67 indicators. Of these 55 indicators, 46 were rated as important or very important when considering the quality of a Bible college, while 9 were rated as less important when considering the quality of a Bible college. The results of this study point to four conclusions regarding the study groups' assessment of quality in Bible colleges. First, there was a high degree of agreement reported as to the importance of indicators of institutional quality in Bible colleges. Second, student outcomes were reported to be the most important indicators of institutional quality in Bible colleges, especially outcomes related to Biblical values and ideals. Third, indicators related to the teaching mission of Bible colleges were reported to be the next most important determinants of institutional quality. Fourth, indicators related to institutional demographics, resources, and student ...
Date: August 1995
Creator: Wilks, Wayne D. (Wayne Dean)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community College Collaboration with Business and Industry in Providing Workplace Literacy Programs: a Modified Case Study of Five Corporate Programs in a Metropolitan Area

Description: The purpose of this study was to provide both businesses and institutions of higher education with a descriptive analysis of the programs of five companies that have utilized community colleges in their basic skills programs. The five companies represented included Texas Instruments Defense Systems Corporation and SGS-Thomson Microelectronics (electronics companies), Abbott Laboratories (a pharmaceutical company), J & E Die Casting (a small die casting firm), and Company X, a semiconductor company that requested anonymity. The community colleges included were Richland College, Brookhaven College, and North Lake College. Modified case studies were used to obtain data collected through individual interviews with representatives from the community colleges and the companies. The syntheses of documentaries provided details of how the five community college-directed workplace literacy programs met, or failed to meet, their literacy challenges. Descriptions of the curriculum and structure of each program were also included. Numerous factors contributed to the success or demise of the programs studied. Elements that served as powerful assets when adequately supported were detrimental when neglected. Factors common to all of the programs were financial support, management philosophical support, confidentiality, adequate testing instruments, class schedule flexibility, instructor capability, physical classroom facilities, and work-related documentation integrated into the curriculum. The findings of this study support previous research concerning successful and detrimental factors found in workplace literacy programs.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Kutilek, Janis G. (Janis Gayle)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Leadership Communication Among Kindergarten Children in a Structured Play Environment

Description: This study examines the enactment of leadership communication during videotaped play sessions of thirty kindergarten children. Eighteen of the children demonstrated skills in a cluster of five specific leadership behaviors. All five coders agreed that these eighteen children were sometimes leaders of their individual triad. The coders further agreed that the leadership in the triads flowed from one child to another as the session progressed. The study concluded that leadership is a facilitative process that is fluid rather than statically centered in one or more participants.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Giraud, Jeffrey B. (Jeffrey Brian)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Investigation of the Productivity of Information System Helpdesk User Support Professsionals as Impacted by Their Communication Behavior : A Field Experiment

Description: This research conducted an interdisciplinary field experiment to identify relationships between productivity, user satisfaction and IS Helpdesk USP's use of effective communication behavior. An experimental group of Helpdesk USPs of a large retail organization were trained by communication professionals in communication effectiveness, with emphasis on the needs of the telephone environment.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Breshears, Robert Louis
Partner: UNT Libraries