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Rey-Ifying A New Heroine: Interrogating The Curriculum Of Femininity In Star Wars Films, Rebekah S. Morgan Jan 2020

Rey-Ifying A New Heroine: Interrogating The Curriculum Of Femininity In Star Wars Films, Rebekah S. Morgan

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The Star Wars film trilogies are a cross-generational phenomenon. Due to its powerful and pervasive nature, the messages within Star War’s films must be problematized. As a cultural artifact, Star Wars was used to explore the representations of women across time and three generations. Using a conceptual framework based on cultural curriculum studies and feminist theory, this study explored the significance of Star Wars as gender text by interrogating the representations of women in the Star Wars film saga and what these representations teach about gender and femininity. By focusing on the themes of agency, empowerment, and identity, this ...


A Look At Vision: Perspectives Throughout The Organizational Hierarchy Of The Christian University Context, William Kyle Brantley Jan 2020

A Look At Vision: Perspectives Throughout The Organizational Hierarchy Of The Christian University Context, William Kyle Brantley

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Research supports vision as a central tenet to leadership. Just as important as the content of vision is how it is communicated. However, once a vision is cast, far less is known about how it is communicated throughout the organization and how it influences members throughout the organizational hierarchy. For faith-based organizations like Christian colleges and universities, vision is particularly important as it serves to steer the institution toward a greater realization of its faith-based identity. This study contributes to the empirical research on vision, its communication, and its effect, as both the nature and impact of vision communication within ...


Decolonizing American Democracy And The Problem Of Gerrymandering: Implications Of Border Designs From A Communication Ethics Perspective, Mark Gardner Dec 2019

Decolonizing American Democracy And The Problem Of Gerrymandering: Implications Of Border Designs From A Communication Ethics Perspective, Mark Gardner

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project attempts to understand the powerful force of political borders from a historical and communicative perspective. Of particular importance to this research is the role that political borders play in shaping individuals’ relationship to structures and practices of democracy. Following insights of decolonial and communication ethics scholars, this work understands the importance of ethically framing deliberations surrounding physical, metaphorical, and categorical political borders. Five chapters make up this work in the culmination of analyzing political gerrymandering as a form of democratic competition grounded in the rhetoric of colonialism. Tracing the colonial history of borders throughout American democracy provides this ...


Bureaucratic Modernity And The Erosion Of Practical Reason: A Rhetorical Education As An Antidote, David Impellizzeri Dec 2019

Bureaucratic Modernity And The Erosion Of Practical Reason: A Rhetorical Education As An Antidote, David Impellizzeri

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

To what extent and in what ways does modernity reveal itself through the bureaucratic? This project aims at an interpretive understanding of bureaucratic modernity. The rationalization of society and action in the (late) modern world requires that an increasing number of human activities and domains be explained in allegedly neutral, ‘rational’ terms and without reference to morally substantive ends. Ultimately, this entails a form of epistemic reductionism that elevates instrumental rationality to the exclusion of practical reason and probabilistic ways of knowing. Bureaucratic modernity signifies a decrease in choices that can be legitimized in public on some basis other than ...


An Exploration Of Communication Ethics Scholarship And Economic Spheres, Andrew Tinker Dec 2019

An Exploration Of Communication Ethics Scholarship And Economic Spheres, Andrew Tinker

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project examines communication ethics scholarship to understand how economics is understood within the field and to establish coordinates for scholars to discuss economic spheres as phenomena that affect communication ethics. Scholars draw from the tradition of virtue ethics to mark communication ethics inquiry as that which explores the practices that protect and promote the “good.” Philosophers of communication and communication ethicists have developed paradigmatic metaphors for the field that allow us to understand the formation of ethical guidelines within communities both familial, corporate, and national, that promote and protect various goods. These metaphors include “hierarchy” and “sameness” from Charles ...


Student Retention, Coping, And Communication: A Study Of Student Responses To A Common Read At A Small Liberal Arts College, Debbie Cunningham Dec 2019

Student Retention, Coping, And Communication: A Study Of Student Responses To A Common Read At A Small Liberal Arts College, Debbie Cunningham

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

College student retention has been researched for over half a century. Much of the research about student retention has examined easily quantifiable factors, such as demographic variables, or presumably objective measures of student readiness, such as SAT scores. The results of these types of studies demonstrate the complexities of retention and attrition and underscore the importance of examining retention within the local contexts of institutions.

This study adopts a communication perspective to examine the intersection of three critical constructs: student retention, student writing, and identity. By observing the ways in which students constitute their identities in essays submitted as part ...


Stories Of Color: An Exploration Of Storytelling And Racial Microaggression, Tama Lunceford Dec 2019

Stories Of Color: An Exploration Of Storytelling And Racial Microaggression, Tama Lunceford

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study examines experiences of racial microaggressions as related to an audience through the art of Storytelling. Integrating Performance Ethnography and Critical Race Theory, it examines how storytelling may serve to illuminate the concept of racial microaggressions. After examining the current body of work on Racism, Storytelling and Microaggression, the author moves through the stories of experiences with racial microaggression from four individuals, gathered and performed as a storytelling event, before a live audience. The communicative management methods individuals use when talking about race and racial microaggressions are explored in presentation of the audience discussion which followed the performance. The ...


A Power Man’S Theology: Marvel’S Luke Cage And Black Liberation Theology, Diarron B. Morrison Dec 2019

A Power Man’S Theology: Marvel’S Luke Cage And Black Liberation Theology, Diarron B. Morrison

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Netflix released Marvel’s Luke Cage in 2016 to critical acclaim. Born from a 1970s comic book, the series features Luke Cage, an African-American superhero. Cage is a big, bald, bulletproof black man. Instead of tights and a cape, Cage wears a hoodie calling the audience to remember Trayvon Martin and other victims of white racism. Theologian James Cone created Black Liberation Theology in the 1970s. As a result of Cone’s work, Black Liberation Theology addresses the issue of white racism from a theological standpoint. In this thesis I present a close reading of Marvel’s Luke Cage using ...


Organizational Conditions That Promote And Impede Research Engagement: The Principal’S Perspective, Renee Treat Dec 2019

Organizational Conditions That Promote And Impede Research Engagement: The Principal’S Perspective, Renee Treat

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The researcher explored perceptions of the research-practice gap in education, the process through which central actors make decisions related to teacher retention and development, and the organizational conditions that promote and impede research-engagement in this qualitative study. The researcher limited the study to the role of the campus principal and used purposive sampling to select participants from 3 diverse districts in the state of Texas. Because there may be discrepancies between leaders’ perceptions and behaviors, the researcher conducted interview sessions with principals and principal supervisors and conducted observation sessions in principals’ natural work environments. The study results showed that good ...


Organizational Change Within Christian Higher Education Institutions And The Reactions Of Faculty, Dena Counts Sep 2019

Organizational Change Within Christian Higher Education Institutions And The Reactions Of Faculty, Dena Counts

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Christian higher education in the United States is experiencing frequent transformational organizational change that is impacting faculty. Researchers have asserted that frequent, second-order organizational change correlates with interpersonal conflict, and conflict is associated with counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs). These associations between change, conflict, and negative work behavior are important to understand as faculty actions could significantly impact change efforts. Because of the context of Christian higher education, this study was designed to determine if faculty organizational identification influenced the correlations of the variables. It specifically utilized a cross-sectional survey design to assess faculty (N = 267) perceptions of organizational change, interpersonal ...


Battle Over Black Bears: Investigating Perceptions Of The Black Bear Hunting Referendums In Maine, Francesca A. Gundrum Aug 2019

Battle Over Black Bears: Investigating Perceptions Of The Black Bear Hunting Referendums In Maine, Francesca A. Gundrum

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Human dimensions of wildlife is an emerging discipline that seeks to understand the complex relationships between people, wildlife, and their conflicts and/or interactions (Decker, Riley, & Siemer, 2012). Human dimensions utilizes several tested theoretical frameworks to investigate these complexities, such as cognitive hierarchy theory and wildlife value orientations (WVOs). Both of these theoretical frameworks were examined in this study, which investigated the content of news media during controversial American black bear (Ursus americanus) hunting referenda in Maine, and key stakeholder perceptions of black bear management. Maine is the only state that allows hunters to take a black bear over bait, with hounds, and with traps (Gore, 2003; Morell, 2014). Due to perceptions that some or all of these harvest methods are cruel and unfair, Maine has endured two state-wide referendums that called on citizens to consider eliminating the three practices entirely (Gore, 2003; Morell, 2014). In 2004 and 2014, both referendums narrowly failed, thus stabilizing the legitimacy of current bear hunting practices (Maine Secretary of State, 2004; Maine Secretary of State, 2014). This complex debate has permeated and divided the state ...


A New Materialist Rhetoric: Theorizing Movement From A Rhetorical Ethnography Of Hiking, Bryan Picciotto Aug 2019

A New Materialist Rhetoric: Theorizing Movement From A Rhetorical Ethnography Of Hiking, Bryan Picciotto

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In the field of rhetoric, conventional concepts of movement depend on dialectical theories of materiality that posit matter is not rhetorical until acted upon by human sign or symbol systems. New materialist philosophy, which considers the dynamism of matter without situating materiality in dialectical relationship to language, provides a theoretical context for reconceptualizing the rhetoricity of movement. Working from a nondialectical approach to materiality, this dissertation theorizes how movement functions rhetorically, specifically within cultural practices of hiking. For this project, I participated in 15+ hikes at state and national parks in Maine, and generated a multimodal archive of 1,000 ...


Digital Political Information Consumption And Ambivalent Political Attitudes., Dane Ryan Warner Aug 2019

Digital Political Information Consumption And Ambivalent Political Attitudes., Dane Ryan Warner

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Understating how individuals form, reinforce, or change attitudes has a long history in political science research. This study seeks to contribute to the existing literature by bridging the gap between the ambivalence and digital political communications literature by examining the relationship between digital political information consumption and ambivalent political attitudes. Using the American National Election Studies 2016 Time Series Study, I examine the role of digital political information consumption as a moderator of value conflict and ambivalent political attitudes. The findings suggest that increased levels of information gather significantly reduce group ambivalence, candidate ambivalence, and value ambivalence.


The Impact Organizational Factors Have On Role Ambiguity Amongst School Social Workers, Melissa Kichura May 2019

The Impact Organizational Factors Have On Role Ambiguity Amongst School Social Workers, Melissa Kichura

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to explore what organizational factors increase or decrease role ambiguity amongst school social workers. This study attempted to provide practical information for schools on the influence of specific organizational factors on role ambiguity so that they can provide a supportive work environment for school social workers and students. A cross-sectional survey design was used to provide a snapshot of the current organizational factors impacting the ambiguity of school social work roles from a sample of 73 members of the School Social Work Association of America. Some findings were not congruent with the literature. The ...


Brand Strength Evaluation Of Goodwill-West Texas, Cailyn Byrd May 2019

Brand Strength Evaluation Of Goodwill-West Texas, Cailyn Byrd

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this evaluation is to identify the ways in which Goodwill-West Texas could improve their marketing efforts in order to increase service delivery and community support. Goodwill’s career center is underperforming in comparison to other Goodwill career centers in similar communities. Two surveys were used to assess the beliefs and attitudes towards Goodwill held by members of the community who are often in contact with Goodwill-West Texas’s target market. Participants were more likely to know about Goodwill’s retail sales rather than their social service efforts. This could be contributing to Goodwill-West Texas’s service delivery ...


Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes Scapularis) Distribution In Maine, Usa, As Related To Climate Change, White-Tailed Deer, And The Landscape, Susan P. Elias May 2019

Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes Scapularis) Distribution In Maine, Usa, As Related To Climate Change, White-Tailed Deer, And The Landscape, Susan P. Elias

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterial spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected blacklegged (deer) tick (Ixodes scapularis). Geographic invasion of I. scapularis in North America has been attributed to causes including 20th century reforestation and suburbanization, burgeoning populations of the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) which is the primary reproductive host of I. scapularis, tick-associated non-native plant invasions, and climate change. Maine, USA, is a high Lyme disease incidence state, with a history of increasing I. scapularis abundance and northward range expansion. This thesis addresses the question: “To what extent has the range expansion ...


Examining The Acculturation Experiences Of Syrian Refugee Emerging Adults In The United States Of America, Fatemah Alghamdi May 2019

Examining The Acculturation Experiences Of Syrian Refugee Emerging Adults In The United States Of America, Fatemah Alghamdi

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Refugees are vulnerable populations who experience premigration traumatic events and postmigration acculturation stress. While research on immigrant mental health issues has been plentiful, there has been a clear lacuna of scholarly investigation into the acculturation experiences of Syrian emerging adults, particularly as it relates to the types and dynamics of acculturation behaviors. Acculturation is a factor that predicts emerging adults’ academic and occupational success and their interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships.

This qualitative investigation was conducted within the framework of interpretative phenomenology, which allows for meaningful, organic exploration and description of participants’ stories. Data were collected from 12 emerging adult Syrian ...


Black Body Memory: A Philosophy Of The Talk, Autumn Redcross May 2019

Black Body Memory: A Philosophy Of The Talk, Autumn Redcross

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project offers the term Black body memory to point toward the threatened existential disposition of Black people in society today. Moreover, Black body memory points to the narrative paradigm of a shared experience. While popular conceptions theorize race as a social construction, the lived reality of Black people is frequently imbued by racialization and racism. Black body memory emerges from the intersection of the Black body articulated by Franz Fanon, Charles Johnson, and George Yancy, among others, and body memory, as described by Edward Casey and Thomas Fuchs. Black body memory is a culturally-laden and sedimented lived reality. The ...


The Ethics Of Occultic Communication: An Invocation Of Joshua Gunn And Sissela Bok, James Thomas Begley Jr. May 2019

The Ethics Of Occultic Communication: An Invocation Of Joshua Gunn And Sissela Bok, James Thomas Begley Jr.

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Occultic rhetoric, according to Joshua Gunn, is a genre of discourse concerned with the study and practice of secret communications. The strategic sharing of secret messages involves a host of methods and conventions designed for the selective disclosure of hidden knowledge, thus controlling the boundaries of (and accessibility to power between) insider and outsider groups. Occultic rhetoric has its uses in everyday encounters, but the abuse of such manipulative strategies, especially by those in the academy and other positions of power and trust, calls for an ethical response. This dissertation submits occultic rhetoric to moral investigation by incorporating the works ...


Multifaith Families And Their Narratives Within Society, Josh Friedberg May 2019

Multifaith Families And Their Narratives Within Society, Josh Friedberg

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The goal of this project is to nudge the conversation about interfaith families in a direction that examines the family post–interfaith dialogue. The term multifaith better represents this new aim because it encompasses all interactions and does not limit the family to the constraints of the moniker interfaith. I apply Walter Fisher’s concepts of coherence and fidelity, in coordination with family communication literature, to structure this project and to study the various aspects of a multifaith family and narrative. I also use three typologies of multifaith family (Passive/Passive, Passive/Active, and Active/Active) to better understand the ...


The Dialectics Of Cyberspace: Communication Ethics As First Response To Cyber Attacks, Matthew P. Mancino May 2019

The Dialectics Of Cyberspace: Communication Ethics As First Response To Cyber Attacks, Matthew P. Mancino

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project recognizes the need to re-conceptualize cyberspace according to its characteristic dialectical tensions in order to offer lasting, adequate responses to cyber attacks. Scholars across multiple disciplines recognize the ineffectiveness of perimeter defense strategies, or the raising of defensive walls to protect sensitive information as the primary response to cyber attacks (Denning, 2001; Jang-Jaccard & Nepal, 2014; MacKinnon, Bacon, Gan, Loukas, Chadwick, Frangiskatos, 2013). Thus, this project suggests that in addition to a literacy in coding, corporations and policy makers must attend to what Ronald C. Arnett, Janie Harden Fritz, and Leeanne M. Bell McManus (2009/2018) term “communication ethics literacy” to ...


Privatio Dialogus: Toward A Phenomenology Of Aloneness For The Philosophy Of Communication, Timothy Michaels May 2019

Privatio Dialogus: Toward A Phenomenology Of Aloneness For The Philosophy Of Communication, Timothy Michaels

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The intent of this dissertation is to utilize the phenomenological method to elucidate the experience of aloneness and its relationship with human communication. Aloneness, for the purposes of this research, is understood as the broad experience of feeling alone. This dissertation first seeks to understand some essential principles of previous interdisciplinary literature on this topic before establishing a typology of experiences of aloneness, including isolation, escapism, and solitude. I present a phenomenology of each of these types of aloneness through a representative philosopher for each one, with Hannah Arendt, Emmanuel Levinas, and Henry David Thoreau, respectively. Finally, I conclude that ...


Sound Commodity: Contemporary Public Radio And Podcasting, Casey R. Kelly May 2019

Sound Commodity: Contemporary Public Radio And Podcasting, Casey R. Kelly

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Podcasting is both a disruption and an opportunity for public radio. It’s disruptive in that it marks a shift in how public radio organizations connect with listeners, who increasingly seek on-demand content. For traditional broadcast outlets like public radio this has raised a host of questions around how to allocate resources and deal with new workflow and labor demands in the digital age. It also has exacerbated ever-present commercial pressures in public media. As for opportunities, podcasting is a platform for public radio to reach new listeners, elevate underrepresented voices, and experiment with new sounds and storytelling techniques. It ...


Connecting Youth To Public Lands Through The Social Change Model Of Leadership Development: The Yosemite Leadership Program, Amanda J. Dworak Rowland May 2019

Connecting Youth To Public Lands Through The Social Change Model Of Leadership Development: The Yosemite Leadership Program, Amanda J. Dworak Rowland

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This qualitative study explored the success and outcome of the Yosemite Leadership Program (YLP) through its foundation in the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. There are research studies of collegiate programming and the Social Change Model (SCM); however, a literature review uncovered the limited amounts of research around leadership programming connecting collegiate students to their gateway public lands sites. The goal of this research was to identify how the SCM could be used to implement methods and practices of leadership development with college students in partnership with a public lands agency. The specific leadership development themes that were explored ...


Understanding Substance Use And Recovery In Maine: A Culture-Centered Approach, Carter Hathaway May 2019

Understanding Substance Use And Recovery In Maine: A Culture-Centered Approach, Carter Hathaway

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

There is ever-increasing attention to Maine’s substance use problem, particularly in the case of opioid-related deaths. With yearly death tolls increasing, citizens of Maine wonder what the best methods are in approaching the issue and preventing further harm. While statistics about the issue are repeated in news coverage and by political figures, there is a need to understand what substance use and recovery actually mean to individuals who experience them on a daily basis. The following thesis uses Mohan J. Dutta’s (2008) culture-centered approach to health communication to explore the meanings of substance use and recovery as well ...


Cooking Lessons: Oral Recipe Sharing In The Southern Kitchen, Alana Claxton May 2019

Cooking Lessons: Oral Recipe Sharing In The Southern Kitchen, Alana Claxton

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study analyzes oral recipe sharing practices as they emerge in Southern cooking. Researcher and participants were immersed in cooking recipes together in a qualitative research method that combined interactive interviewing with sensory ethnography. Findings revealed a category of oral recipe sharing practices that is missing from the literature: cooking lessons. This study identified cooking lessons as a distinct recipe sharing practice and worked to further operationalize and concretize such practices in hopes of spurring further research.


The Ill Man: An Exploration Of Chronic Illness Disclosure Within Masculine Culture, Matthew Daggett May 2019

The Ill Man: An Exploration Of Chronic Illness Disclosure Within Masculine Culture, Matthew Daggett

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Masculine culture is known for teaching men to be strong, independent, and in control; however, the presence of chronic illness creates challenges for men when attempting to uphold a dominant masculine identity and make disclosure decisions about sharing illness information. This study explores the intersection between illness related self-disclosure and masculine culture. Utilizing qualitative methods, it examines the challenges chronically ill men face when making decisions about self-disclosure. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five men (N=5) who have one or more chronic illnesses. Transcripts were analyzed and coded using grounded theory to identify emergent themes. The analysis revealed three ...


Bending The Binary: Effects Of Nonbinary Gender Media Representations On Disposition Formation And Media Enjoyment, Diana Higley May 2019

Bending The Binary: Effects Of Nonbinary Gender Media Representations On Disposition Formation And Media Enjoyment, Diana Higley

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Today, the issue of gender plays a larger role in our social discussions than in the past. Over the last decade, new and groundbreaking television shows and movies that showcase gender nonconforming characters and plots that challenge traditional gender roles have become more common. The aim of the present study was to examine the potential effects of gender-neutral representations in media programming and particularly whether different representations of gender might influence audience attitudes toward characters and overall enjoyment of the media. Affective Disposition Theory and Moral Foundations Theory were used as a framework for understanding people's perceptions of gender-neutral ...


Becoming A Master Manager: An Analysis Of Snap Recipient Stories Of Navigating Government Assistance, Kallie Gay May 2019

Becoming A Master Manager: An Analysis Of Snap Recipient Stories Of Navigating Government Assistance, Kallie Gay

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study examines experiences of utilizing government assistance in the United States. It focuses on the ways in which persons participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) communicatively managed their lives in relation to their role in the program. Specifically, the research reveals that SNAP recipients are master managers. After synthesizing the pre-existing body of research concerning social assistance in the U.S. and its effects on those who utilize it, the author argues that sharing the stories of marginalized groups can serve to reduce stigma surrounding government assistance participation. Employing a Feminist Standpoint Theory sensibility to elicit such ...


The Religious Classroom: Analyzing The Cross-Application Of Instructional Communication Pedagogy To Youth Ministries, Lakelyn Taylor May 2019

The Religious Classroom: Analyzing The Cross-Application Of Instructional Communication Pedagogy To Youth Ministries, Lakelyn Taylor

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Instructional communication literature suggests that, to achieve optimal student learning outcomes, an instructor must completely engage in all aspects of experiential learning. It follows, then, that youth ministers should also employ experiential learning in their youth ministries to achieve their learning outcome goals among the youth they teach. This research project examined three research questions: 1.) What pedagogical strategies do youth ministers use during large group class sessions? 2.) In what ways do youth ministers employ instructional communication best practices within their pedagogical strategies? 3.) What strategies do former students remember their youth minister using the most? The analysis revealed ...