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Communication strategies contributing to the positive identities of third culture kids: an intercultural communication perspective on identity

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This study aims to deepen the understanding of how Third Culture Kids (TCKs) receive and maintain long-term perceptions of positive identity. The literature review surveys bodies of research related to

This study aims to deepen the understanding of how Third Culture Kids (TCKs) receive and maintain long-term perceptions of positive identity. The literature review surveys bodies of research related to Third Culture Kids, intercultural communication conceptions of identity, and communication strategies of identity management. The research framework is a response to Martin and Nakayama’s (2010) call for a dialectical approach to the study of intercultural communication, and reflects an interpretive/critical/activist dialectic paradigm.

This qualitative multi-method research project gathered survey, interview, and visual data through online platforms. Participants were TCKs over age 40 who self-selected as having a positive identity. A modified grounded analysis revealed several key findings connected to agency development, choice making, communication filters, and framing of positivity. Factors contributing to characteristics of a positive identity included sending organization, total number and frequency of moves, and degrees of difference among their cultural contexts.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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A participant-generated model of intercultural friendship formation, development, and maintenance between Taiwanese and Chinese students

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This dissertation aimed to identify the factors that facilitated the friendship initiation, development, and maintenance between Taiwanese and Chinese students and the influential relationship among those factors. Nine Taiwanese and

This dissertation aimed to identify the factors that facilitated the friendship initiation, development, and maintenance between Taiwanese and Chinese students and the influential relationship among those factors. Nine Taiwanese and nine Chinese students studying at one Taiwanese university were recruited for this study. The Chinese students were in Taiwan for at least two years. The participants were friends with the other party for at least 8 months. This study was divided into three stages. In the first stage, participants were required to provide factors that facilitated their friendship with the other party. Fifty ideas were collected. In the second stage, participants were asked to clarify those factors and then categorize those factors. Fourteen categories were identified in this stage. The participants, then, voted on factors that affected their friendship formation, development, and maintenance with other party. Fifteen factors were voted the highest among those factors. Those 15 factors were imported into interpretive structure modeling (ISM) software for the next stage. In the third stage, 18 one-on-one interviews were conducted, and 18 ISM diagrams were generated. ISM provided a method to identify the influential relationship among those factors. According to the results, the friendship formation model was proposed. Five stages were identified in this model: exploring, matching, engaging, deepening and bonding.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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You had to be there: extending intergroup contact theory to positive contexts through a participant-centered analysis of fans' experiences at the Olympics

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This dissertation investigated positive intergroup contact and communication in the experiences of fans at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Guided by concepts from Intergroup Contact Theory

This dissertation investigated positive intergroup contact and communication in the experiences of fans at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Guided by concepts from Intergroup Contact Theory (ICT), formerly Allport’s (1954) Contact Hypothesis, I asked fans to identify and discuss factors that were relevant to their experiences at the event. These factors are reported in previous literature to foster positive intergroup relations. The fan participants also provided detailed, experience-based rationales for why and how the factors supported each other and created individual models of their experiences of ICT at the Olympics. The study relied on participant-centered, in-depth qualitative interviews using Interpretive Structural Modeling (ISM) software. Based on an integration of ICT, communication theories, social capital concepts, and calls from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and mega-sporting event industry, the dissertation sought to answer four research questions. It started with a broad approach to the array of previous scholars’ ICT factors in order to identify what factors were present and relevant in fans’ experiences. It also sought to understand why and how the factors worked together by analyzing the ways factors related to and supported each other in Olympic fans’ experiences and producing a composite meta-structure of the factors’ relationships. Additionally, through thematic analysis, the research explored where and when in fans’ experiences the factors emerged and were active. Finally, the study identified the functions that each ICT factor served in fostering positive intergroup contact and communication and offered suggestions for practitioners and organizers of intergroup contexts. The study aimed to make theoretical contributions by addressing gaps and calls in ICT literature, as well as practical contributions by providing insight about how to organize intergroup contexts to foster positive contact and communication. In addition to addressing its research questions, the study provided a comprehensive list of previous scholars’ ICT factors, a preliminary, tentative model of ICT for ideal intergroup contexts adapted from Pettigrew’s (1998) model of group membership transformation for problematic contexts, and promising future directions given the unique, ideal, and unexplored features of the Olympics.

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Date Created
  • 2017