Matching Items (306)
- All Subjects: communication
- Member of: Theses and Dissertations
- Status: Published
Restrictive discourse: manufacturing reactionary solutions to internal causes : a qualitative media analysis of immigration policy discourse
ABSTRACT This thesis analyzes the discourse surrounding proposed solutions to the immigration phenomenon in the United States. I conducted two qualitative media analyses on the rhetoric and conceptual frames found in mass media newscasts reporting on the immigration debate. The first analysis covered the general immigration debate and the second covered the appearance of American southwest ranchers. Specifically the analyses contrasted the media's coverage of root economic causes to the immigration phenomenon in comparison to reactionary solutions as proposed by leading immigrant attrition organizations such as the immigration think tank, Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and Republican linguist, Frank Luntz. The main argument of this thesis is based on an analysis of how the media has used southwestern ranchers as expert witnesses for reactionary solutions on a national level. An acute qualitative media analysis was used to compare the rhetoric found in the media coverage of southwestern ranchers versus the rhetoric found in 12 in-depth interviews I conducted with ranchers in the American southwest. This thesis contends that the media has successfully turned southwestern ranchers into spokespersons for border security rhetoric, furthering the binary debates on border security and immigration reform and thus obscuring the conditions which force migrants to leave their home countries. The grounding theoretical framework for this thesis is based on David Altheide's qualitative media analysis which identifies how certain frames and common narratives ultimately construct a way of discussing the problem or the kind of discourse that will follow. This was structured on Atheide's qualitative media analysis protocols to dissect mass media newscasts covering the immigration debate and more specifically the mass media's coverage of southwestern ranchers. The qualitative media analyses were employed to determine whether the discourse found in nightly newscasts falls in line with root causes of immigration or FAIR's concern with reactionary solutions. To further assess the media's ability to shape discourse, and ultimately policy, these qualitative analyses were compared with in-depth interviews of the ranchers.
Living the experience of whistleblowing: an analysis of organizational whistleblowing through creative nonfiction
In this dissertation, organizational whistleblowing is guided by the methods for writing Creative Nonfiction. That is to say, a true story is told in a compelling and creative, easy to read manner, so that a broader audience, both academic and non-academic alike, can understand the stories told. For this project, analytic concepts such as antecedents, organizational culture, resistance and dissidence, social support, and ethics are embedded in the narrative text. In this piece, the author tells the story of a whistleblowing process, from beginning to end. Using the techniques advised by Gutkind (2012) questions and directions for research and analytic insight are integrated with the actual scenes of the whistleblowing account. The consequences of whistleblowing are explored, including loss of status, social isolation, and a variety of negative ramifications. In order to increase confidentiality in the dissertation, pseudonyms and adapted names and locations have been used to focus on the nature of the whistleblowing experience rather than the specific story. The author ends the dissertation with reflection on whistleblowing through the insight gathered from his firsthand account, suggesting advice for future whistleblowers and directions for future organizational research on whistleblowing.
This dissertation examined sojourner adjustment success utilizing a unique method for collecting and analyzing the perceptions and sense making of the sojourner participants. Although previous research studies in this area have mostly relied on quantitative survey designs and researcher-generated models, this study relied on in-depth, participant-driven, qualitative interviews that were semi-structured using a software-assisted method called Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM). Through this dissertation research, study abroad students (sojourners) had the opportunity to reflect on their sojourn experience, share their adjustment stories, and identify factors that were personally relevant to their success. This study broke new ground while building on the vast body of work in cross-cultural and sojourner adjustment. Sojourners were asked to provide their perspectives on the relationships among those factors reported in the literature that are commonly believed to influence successful adjustment. This allowed me to connect existing literature on the subject with the lived experience of the sojourner participants. This dissertation sought to answer two research questions. First, what factors do participants identify as being keys to the success of their sojourn? Second, what relationships do participants perceive among the factors contributing to successful sojourner adjustment? This dissertation found that language proficiency played a key role in their adjustment and openness was the factor most selected by participants in their explanation of a successful sojourn. Additionally, participant profiles and influence structure summaries provided evidence of the relationships participants saw among success factors in their lived experiences. In terms of preparing sojourners for going abroad, analysis of the composite structure revealed what could be prioritized in pre-departure training for impending sojourners. Themes emerged which provide insight into the commonalities of the sojourner experience despite differences in one's program or personality. This dissertation also explained additional success factors participants identified (e.g., ability to manage language fatigue, creation of connections with other travelers) that were not initially provided to them. Finally, suggestions for study abroad students/coordinators, researchers, and employers are provided.
The effect of gendered communication on women's behavioral intentions regarding nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurship
The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of gendered communication on women's behavioral intentions regarding nonprofit and for-profit entrepreneurship. Women represent half of the U.S. workforce, but only about one third of all American entrepreneurs are women. Feminists have argued that because entrepreneurship is largely understood as a masculine activity, women — who are predominantly socialized to espouse a feminine gender role — are less likely to become entrepreneurs. Previous scholarship and the particular theoretical lens of social feminism suggest that communication about entrepreneurship that is congruent with a feminine gender role would lead to the recruitment of a greater number of women entrepreneurs. Findings of the current study, however, suggested the opposite, providing support for poststructuralist feminist theory. Women who viewed a feminine entrepreneurship recruiting brochure about entrepreneurship reported themselves to be more feminine and less likely to report intentions to become entrepreneurs than women who viewed a masculine entrepreneurship recruiting brochure. These findings suggested that feminine communication may prime women to think of themselves as feminine, which may then lead them to view themselves as not masculine enough to be entrepreneurs. The applications of these findings stretch beyond engaging more women in entrepreneurship and also extend to scholarship that investigates gender's effects on women's pursuit of other masculine careers, including those in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Until the larger discourse on entrepreneurship changes to be inclusive of femininity, it is unlikely that strategies that feminize entrepreneurial activity in controlled situations will have an effect on changing the patterns of women's entrepreneurial intentions.
Sexual and social signals have long been thought to play an important role in speciation and diversity; hence, investigations of intraspecific communication may lead to important insights regarding key processes of evolution. Though we have learned much about the control, function, and evolution of animal communication by studying several very common signal types, investigating rare classes of signals may provide new information about how and why animals communicate. My dissertation research focused on rapid physiological color change, a rare signal-type used by relatively few taxa. To answer longstanding questions about this rare class of signals, I employed novel methods to measure rapid color change signals of male veiled chameleons Chamaeleo calyptratus in real-time as seen by the intended conspecific receivers, as well as the associated behaviors of signalers and receivers. In the context of agonistic male-male interactions, I found that the brightness achieved by individual males and the speed of color change were the best predictors of aggression and fighting ability. Conversely, I found that rapid skin darkening serves as a signal of submission for male chameleons, reducing aggression from winners when displayed by losers. Additionally, my research revealed that the timing of maximum skin brightness and speed of brightening were the best predictors of maximum bite force and circulating testosterone levels, respectively. Together, these results indicated that different aspects of color change can communicate information about contest strategy, physiology, and performance ability. Lastly, when I experimentally manipulated the external appearance of chameleons, I found that "dishonestly" signaling individuals (i.e. those whose behavior did not match their manipulated color) received higher aggression from unpainted opponents. The increased aggression received by dishonest signalers suggests that social costs play an important role in maintaining the honesty of rapid color change signals in veiled chameleons. Though the color change abilities of chameleons have interested humans since the time of Aristotle, little was previously known about the signal content of such changes. Documenting the behavioral contexts and information content of these signals has provided an important first step in understanding the current function, underlying control mechanisms, and evolutionary origins of this rare signal type.
Hair raising humor: a critical qualitative analysis of humor, gender, and hegemony in the hair industry
This critical qualitative research study explores the discursive processes and patterns by which humor is gendered in hair salons and barbershops, in support of or resistance to hegemony, through an in-depth analysis and feminist critique of the humorous exchanges of hair stylists and barbers. This study extends prior feminist organizational research from Ashcraft and Pacanowsky (1996) regarding the participation of marginalized populations (i.e., women) in hegemonic processes, and argues that, despite changing cultural/demographic organizational trends, marginalized (as well as dominant) populations are still participating in hegemonic processes 20 years later. A focus on gendered humor via participant narratives reveals how various styles of gendered humor function to reinforce gender stereotypes, marginalize/exclude the "other" (i.e., women), and thus privilege hegemonic patterns of workplace discourse. This study contributes to existing feminist organizational scholarship by offering the unique juxtaposition of humor and gender from a diverse and understudied population, hair industry professionals.
Despite the various driver assistance systems and electronics, the threat to life of driver, passengers and other people on the road still persists. With the growth in technology, the use of in-vehicle devices with a plethora of buttons and features is increasing resulting in increased distraction. Recently, speech recognition has emerged as an alternative to distraction and has the potential to be beneficial. However, considering the fact that automotive environment is dynamic and noisy in nature, distraction may not arise from the manual interaction, but due to the cognitive load. Hence, speech recognition certainly cannot be a reliable mode of communication.
The thesis is focused on proposing a simultaneous multimodal approach for designing interface between driver and vehicle with a goal to enable the driver to be more attentive to the driving tasks and spend less time fiddling with distractive tasks. By analyzing the human-human multimodal interaction techniques, new modes have been identified and experimented, especially suitable for the automotive context. The identified modes are touch, speech, graphics, voice-tip and text-tip. The multiple modes are intended to work collectively to make the interaction more intuitive and natural. In order to obtain a minimalist user-centered design for the center stack, various design principles such as 80/20 rule, contour bias, affordance, flexibility-usability trade-off etc. have been implemented on the prototypes. The prototype was developed using the Dragon software development kit on android platform for speech recognition.
In the present study, the driver behavior was investigated in an experiment conducted on the DriveSafety driving simulator DS-600s. Twelve volunteers drove the simulator under two conditions: (1) accessing the center stack applications using touch only and (2) accessing the applications using speech with offered text-tip. The duration for which user looked away from the road (eyes-off-road) was measured manually for each scenario. Comparison of results proved that eyes-off-road time is less for the second scenario. The minimalist design with 8-10 icons per screen proved to be effective as all the readings were within the driver distraction recommendations (eyes-off-road time < 2sec per screen) defined by NHTSA.
The purpose of this study was to examine the utility of the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) in guiding message design for a new health context, reducing meat consumption. The experiment was a posttest only design with a comparison and a control group. Message design was informed by the EPPM and contained threat and efficacy components. Participants (Americans ages 25-44 who eat meat approximately once a day) were randomly assigned to view a high threat/ high efficacy video, a high threat/ low efficacy video, or to be in a control group. Dependent variables were danger control outcomes (i.e., attitudes, intentions, and behavior) and fear control outcomes (i.e., perceived manipulative intent, message derogation, and defensive avoidance). Outcomes were assessed at an immediate posttest (Time 1) and at a one-week follow up (Time 2). There were 373 participants at Time 1 and 153 participants at Time 2. The data did not fully fit either the EPPM or the additive model; both videos were equally persuasive and resulted in greater message acceptance (attitude change, behavioral intention, and behavior) than the control group. Because the high threat/ low efficacy group was more persuasive than the control group, the data more closely fit the additive model. Fear control outcomes did not differ between the two video groups. Overall, the study demonstrated the effectiveness of using the EPPM to guide video message design in a new health context, reducing meat consumption. The results supported the EPPM prediction that a high-threat high-efficacy message would result in message acceptance, but support was not found for the necessity of an efficacy component for message acceptance. These findings can be used to guide new or existing health campaigns that seek to improve public health outcomes, including reducing the incidence of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have a polarizing effect in the US. The first commercially viable GMO was Roundup Ready Soy, introduced by Monsanto in 1996, to be used in conjunction with Roundup herbicides. This thesis investigated and delineated the development and deployments of the discourse of Monsanto’s agricultural assemblage of Roundup Ready seeds and Roundup herbicides and its resistant discourses. Monsanto builds its discourse around the safety and necessity of Roundup Ready seeds through federal regulation and toxicology studies. Resistant discourses deployed by Monsanto’s critics problematize Roundup safety and reject Monsanto’s contention that GMOs are necessary for meeting world’s food demands. The discourse analysis pursued in this thesis explored interactions between the dominant discourse and counter discourses and charted their deployments in Colorado’s and Oregon’s 2014 ballot measures that would have required mandatory GMO labeling. Analysis suggested counter discourses were successful in mobilizing people to engage civically.
Communicating religious disaffiliation: a study of the context, family conversations, and face negotiation among young adults
This study investigated how young adults communicate their decision to religiously disaffiliate to their parents. Both the context in which the religious disaffiliation conversation took place and the communicative behaviors used during the religious disaffiliation conversation were studied. Research questions and hypotheses were guided by Family Communication Patterns Theory and Face Negotiation Theory. A partially mixed sequential quantitative dominate status design was employed to answer the research questions and hypotheses. Interviews were conducted with 10 young adults who had either disaffiliated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or the Watch Tower Society. During the interviews, the survey instrument was refined; ultimately, it was completed by 298 religiously disaffiliated young adults. For the religious disaffiliation conversation’s context, results indicate that disaffiliated Jehovah’s Witnesses had higher conformity orientations than disaffiliated Latter-day Saints. Additionally, disaffiliated Jehovah’s Witnesses experienced more stress than disaffiliated Latter-day Saints. Planning the conversation in advance did lead to the disaffiliation conversation being less stressful for young adults. Furthermore, the analysis found that having three to five conversations reduced stress significantly more than having one or two conversations. For the communicative behaviors during the religious disaffiliation conversation, few differences were found in regard to prevalence of the facework behaviors between the two groups. Of the 14 facework behaviors, four were used more often by disaffiliated JW than disaffiliated LDS—abuse, passive aggressive, pretend, and defend self. In terms of effectiveness, the top five facework behaviors were talk about the problem, consider the other, have a private discussion, remain calm, and defend self. Overall, this study begins the conversation on how religious disaffiliation occurs between young adults and their parents and extends Family Communication Patterns Theory and Face Negotiation Theory to a new context.