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The Power of the Servant Teacher

Description: An instructor's power in the classroom is constructed and sustained through communication. The aim here is to examine how a teacher's power can be negotiated through a lens of servant leadership in hopes of furthering modes in which communication scholars can train future teachers to utilize their power in the classroom. I hypothesize that a teacher utilizing a servant leadership framework employs more pro-social behavioral alteration techniques (BATs). Participants were asked to answer an online survey with questions regarding a chosen instructor's attributes of servant leadership and behavioral alteration messages (BAMs). My hypothesis was partially supported in that that are perceived to use persuasive mapping a specific dimension of servant leadership engage in significantly more pro-social BATs; however, instructors with higher levels of emotional healing engage in significantly more anti-social BATs. Additionally, the gender of the participant and rank of the instructor evaluated influenced students' perceptions of compliance-gaining strategies. The discussion examines the specific dimensions of servant leadership as they relate to power and explores future directions for research examining professional development and training for future faculty and the need to examine gender of participant and instructors with an experimental research design.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Brandon, Joshua R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Tracing the Evolution of Collaborative Virtual Research Environments: A Critical Events-Based Perspective

Description: A significant number of scientific projects pursuing large scale, complex investigations involve dispersed research teams, which conduct a large part or their work virtually. Virtual Research Environments (VREs), cyberinfrastructure that facilitates coordinated activities amongst dispersed scientists, thus provide a rich context to study organizational evolution. Due to the constantly evolving nature of technologies, it is important to understand how teams of scientists, system developers, and managers respond to critical incidents. Critical events are organizational situations that trigger strategic decision making to adjust structure or redirect processes in order to maintain balance or improve an already functioning system. This study examines two prominent VREs: The United States Virtual Astronomical Observatory (US-VAO) and the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) in order to understand how these environments evolve through critical events and strategic choices. Communication perspectives lend themselves well to a study of VRE development and evolution because of the central role occupied by communication technologies in both the functionality and management of VREs. Using the grounded theory approach, this study uses organizational reports to trace how critical events and their resulting strategic choices shape these organizations over time. The study also explores how disciplinary demands influence critical events.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Trudeau, Ashley B
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Narrative Analysis of Korematsu v. United States

Description: This thesis studies the Supreme Court decision, Korematsu v. United States, 323 U.S. 214 (1944) and its historical context, using a narrative perspective and reviewing aspects of narrative viewpoints with reference to legal studies in order to introduce the present study as a method of assessing narratives in legal settings. The study reviews the Supreme Court decision to reveal its arguments and focuses on the context of the case through the presentation of the public story, the institutional story, and the ethnic Japanese story, which are analyzed using Walter Fisher's narrative perspective. The study concludes that the narrative paradigm is useful for assessing stories in the law because it enables the critic to examine both the emotional and logical reasoning that determine the outcomes of the cases.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Santos, Bevin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

"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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Adoptive Parenthood: an Exploratory Study of the Influence of Pre-adoption Communication Satisfaction on Post-adoption Family Adjustment and Coping

Description: There are over a million adopted children in the United States, which makes up over 2% of the population. in spite of the fact that the majority of children are adopted into loving and caring homes, early life trauma puts them at higher risk for developing behavioral and emotional problems than non-adopted children. Due to these issues, many adoptive parents encounter post-adoption stress. This stress is often linked to minimal education regarding short- and long-term challenges associated with adoption. the adoption agency is likely the best group for addressing challenges, yet few researchers have studied adoption agency communication and adoptive parent adjustment. in this study I examined pre-adoption communication satisfaction, post-adoption adjustment (life change and parental adjustment), and coping strategies. Hypothesis 1 questioned the relationship between adoptive parents’ pre-adoption communication satisfaction with their social workers and post-adoption family adjustment; this hypothesis was supported only for problems related to home and work life adjustment. Hypothesis 2 predicted coping strategies would mediate the relationship between communication satisfaction and family adjustment. H2 was not supported for both life change and parental adjustment. Research Questions 1a and 1b inquired about the coping strategy that had an impact on life change and parental adjustment; escape-avoidance coping was most common for problems related to parental difficulty adjustment. a second research question was added post hoc; it questioned if special needs adopted children had an impact on family adjustment. Results indicated the special needs designation is related to home and work life adjustment. After discussing the theoretical and practical implications of this study, I offer limitations and directions for future research.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Seebeck, Lara N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Intercultural Friendships: A Case Study

Description: Thesis written by a student in the UNT Honors College discussing intercultural friendships through case studies and an interview with a Japanese student.
Date: Spring 1999
Creator: Thomason, Jamie
Partner: UNT Honors College

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Who Knows Their Bedroom Secrets? Communication Privacy Management in Couples Who Swing

Description: Swinging is a lifestyle choice where members of a couple seek out other couples or sometimes singles, with whom to engage in sexual activity. Swinging is a lifestyle associated with the 1960s and 1970s, but Americans still engage in swinging activities today. Because of stigmas associated with this practice, swinging couples often keep their lifestyle concealed from family and friends. These couples have a unique lifestyle that requires strong communication and boundary management styles. Scholars use communication privacy management theory to examine how individuals or couples disclose private information and how this private information is then co-owned by both parties. The purpose of this study was to understand whom swinging couples disclose their lifestyle to, and what risks the couple experienced from the disclosures. The swingers disclosed to friends in most cases and were concerned about risks of stigma, privacy, and relationship termination. In this exploratory study I showed that swingers’ privacy management seems to align with the components of CPM in concealing or revealing their lifestyle to others. However the findings also indicate that swingers utilize self-disclosure for recruitment into the lifestyle, and that the disclosures seem to be more spontaneous then strategic. Future research should look further into the privacy management of swingers, as well as other ways in which they manage their stigmatized identities.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Sova, Melodee Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship Between Interpersonal Communication Satisfaction and Biological Sex: the Nurse-Physician Relationship

Description: This study examined to what extent the biological sex of the nurse-physician interactants affects the interpersonal communication satisfaction experienced by the nurse. Hypotheses One and Two predicted that communication satisfaction would differ significantly across various combinations of sex of nurse and sex of physician dyads. Hypothesis Three predicted that male nurses would experience higher levels of communication satisfaction than would female nurses. Interpersonal communication satisfaction was operationalized by two self-report instruments. The sample included 153 male and female nurses. Results indicated that same-sex interactions were more satisfying for female nurses, while mixed-sex interactions were more satisfying for male nurses. Nurses reported greater communication satisfaction when interacting with female physicians. Hypothesis three was not supported.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Glenn, Theresa Hammerstein
Partner: UNT Libraries

Homeless Abjection and the Uncanny “Place” of the National Imagination

Description: This project examines the effects of the homeless body and the threat of homelessness on constructing a national imaginary that relies on the trope of locatability for recognition as a citizen-subject. The thesis argues that homelessness, the oft-figured specter of public space, functions as bodies that are “pushed out” as citizen-subjects due to their inability maintain both discursive and material location. I argue that figures of “home” rely on the ever-present threat of dislocation to maintain a privileged position as the location of the consuming citizen-subject. That is, the presence of the dislocated homeless body haunts the discursive and material construction of home and its inhabitants. Homeless then becomes the uncanny inverse of home, functioning as an abjection that reifies home “place” as an arbiter of recognition in a neoliberal national imaginary. The chapters proceed to examine what some consider homeless “homes,” focusing on the reduction of the homeless condition to a place of inhabitance, or the lack thereof. This attempt to locate the homeless body becomes a symptom of the desire for recognition as a placed body. The thesis ends on a note of political possibility, figuring the uncanny as a rupture that evacuates language of signification and opens up space for a form of recognition without an over-determined identity.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Sloss, Eric J.
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

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries