The Repertoire of Understanding: The Linguistic Patterning of Repetition and Alignment within Supportive ConversationsCannava, Kaitlin Emily 24 March 2016 (has links)
This dissertation explores a fundamental feature of all human interaction, behavioral coordination. Since early work on motor mimicry, scholars of human communication have invested tremendous energy to discover patterns of behavioral adaptation and the impact these patterns have on individual and relational outcomes. Outcomes such as individual health and well-being, as well as relationship satisfaction and divorce are all contingent on the ability to adapt and coordinate actions (Niederhoffer & Pennebaker, 2002; Stehl et al., 2008; Kulesza et al., 2013; Ireland et al., 2011). Several decades of research have advanced our understanding of specific characteristics of supportive messages and their relationship to important outcomes (for review see MacGeorge, Feng, & Burleson, 2011), and work by communication scientists has uncovered the importance of supportive relationships to health and well-being (Holt et al., 2010). This dissertation focuses on a set of language behaviors and how people repeat, paraphrase, and align language use during supportive conversations. Conversations between friends, strangers, and active listeners all engaged in a supportive conversation were analyzed. The analysis of transcripts of conversations between listeners and disclosers engaged in a 5-minute supportive interaction were conducted in two ways. First, two measures of linguistic coordination, Language Style Matching (LSM) (Ireland & Pennebaker, 2010) and Local Lexical Repetition (LLR) (Cannava & Bodie, 2015) were computed using textual analysis software. Results show that LSM was a significant variable in explaining supportive outcomes, whereas LLR failed to have predictive power. Second, stance analysis (Du Bois, 2007) was used to address supportive communication from a discourse analytic perspective. Results revealed that each relational group accomplished supportive conversations that varied on boundaries of coordination, investment, and affiliation. In general, this dissertation provides full or partial empirical support for the application and conceptualization of LSM and LLR. LSM is shown to be a positive predictor of supportive outcomes, whereas LLR is not. While providing three discourse analytic profiles of alignment, his dissertation also showed that dyads enact linguistic coordination and alignment in variety of ways depending on relationship type. Finally, this dissertation seeks to represent the repertoire of linguistic coordination used during a supportive interaction.
"I Listen to Their Story, They Listen to My Comments, and Then I Pocket My Fee:" Sherlock Holmes as Rhetorical Equipment for LivingJones, Andrew Cessna 20 April 2016 (has links)
This study argues that Sherlock Holmes serves as rhetorical equipment for living. Using Kenneth Burkes theory of symbolic appeal and the critical tool proposed in the essay Literature as Equipment for Living, I explore how Holmes responds to the rhetorical situation of early nineteenth century England and consider why the Holmes symbol continues to appeal to audiences. I conclude that rhetoric is a necessary component of the Sherlock Holmes symbol and suggest that Holmess famous method is rhetorical rather than syllogistic.
Vickery, Andrea Jean
13 July 2016
When faced with stressful events, people seek the comfort of close others. The quality of support we receive from our friends, family members, and romantic partners, in turn, impacts our ability to cope. In addition, how we feel about our close relational partners seems intimately related to their abilities to foster appropriate, rather than maladaptive, coping. Surprisingly, however, the relational effects of support are largely ignored in literature. The two studies that comprise this dissertation incorporate tenets of two influential interpersonal communication theories, Person Centered Theory (PCT) and Relational Framing Theory (RFT), to investigate the relational effects of person-centered comfort. In Study 1, participants were asked to imagine experiencing an academic stressor, read a scripted supportive conversation, and were asked to evaluate the relational effects of the conversation. The results from Study 1 demonstrate that relational effects vary as a function of the person-centered quality of comforting messages such that high person-centered comfort is evaluated as expressing more affiliation and less dominance compared to low person-centered comfort. Further, HPC comfort results in positive changes in the perceived relationship qualities of closeness, commitment, intimacy, liking, loving, satisfaction and trust compared to LPC comfort. In Study 2, participants were asked to engage in a supportive conversation with a friend, after which they evaluated each conversational turn. Turns were coded for person-centered comfort. The results of Study 2 reveal that (a) HPC comfort has a negative impact on turn-level ratings of dominance and (b) stressor severity impacts both relational frames of affiliation and dominance. These results contribute to PCT by identifying relational effects of relational meaning and relational outcomes which vary as a function of the quality of person-centered comfort and further contribute to PCT by recognizing the person receiving person-centered comfort perceives relational effects in addition to feeling better (or worse) after a conversation. Further, these results contribute to RFT by recognizing that the quality of person-centered comfort impacts frame relevancy, such that LPC comfort is perceived as more dominant and HPC comfort more affiliative. After acknowledging limitations, future directions are discussed for the programmatic study of supportive communication and relationships.
Theres a Skid Row Everywhere, and This is Just the Headquarters: Impacts of Urban Revitalization Policies in the Homeless Community of Skid RowMungin, Douglas 14 June 2016 (has links)
This dissertation tracks the historical shift from containment strategies for managing homeless populations in Skid Row to current strategies of using police and the penal system to periodically sweep the street of these unwanted bodies. This shift hinges on the construction of homelessness as a crisis requiring immediate and ongoing intervention. First, the state produces and reproduces homelessness as a state of crisis by withdrawing or denying support and public services and disallowing alternative, subsistence modes of survival. Then, it issues the performative utterance of the area as unclean or unsanitary. Developers and city officials mobilize the police to erase a visible presence of homeless bodies from the area. The crisis of homelessness, variously constructed as an issue of urban aesthetics, public health, and crime, enables public policy to be made on the fly. These policies have uniformly favored economic development at the expense of the needs of homeless persons and communities. The performative state needs the homeless to legitimate state intervention on behalf of developers. In this dissertation, I demonstrate how the racialized rhetorics of thanatology and revitalization have been used to construct homelessness as a crisis for the city in a manner that positions the homeless as threats to the life of the city. According to this rhetoric, it is cities that have economic vitality worth protecting and homeless people who act as an unwanted and degenerate economic species threatening their financial fitness, health, and well-being. I argue that the performative state produces homelessness as a material state of crisis and rhetorically constructs homelessness as a crisis legitimating intervention on the part of the state. The dissertation is organized according to the various ways in which homelessness has been constructed as a crisis warranting intervention: urban aesthetics, homelessness and practices of poverty as an eyesore (Chapter 2), public safety and crime prevention à la the broken windows theory (Chapter 3), and the economic vitality of the international city (Chapter 4). This dissertation seeks to explore the stakes across various constructions of the existence of the homeless population and their practices of poverty.
After Images: Using Augusto Boal's Image Theatre to Balance Artistry, Analysis, and Activism in the Performance Composition ProcessMcDonald, Bonny Leah 04 May 2016 (has links)
In this study, I describe several performance experiments in which I applied Brazilian theatre artist Augusto Boals Image Theatre method to mobilize a composition process that is artistically exciting, politically relevant, and pedagogically engaging. Over the span of about seven years I used Image Theatre as the bedrock of my artistic practice as a director of social justice themed works for the stage. I show how using Image Theatre as a tool for performance composition can balance artistry (theatrical practice), analysis (cultural studies), and activism (collaborative struggles toward justice). To do so, I review relevant literature on Boal and Image Theatre to show how my research contributes to the ongoing conversation about the ethics and applications of Boals method, then describe three major performance projects in which I used Image Theatre as a method for staging collaborative performances addressing social justice topics. In each case study, I offer descriptions of the performance composition process and final performance product in order to reflect on several practical strategies for directors and teachers interested in creating collaborative performances that call for social change.
What Every New Coach Should Know: Analysis of Coaches' Goals for Organizational Entry/Assimilation, through the Goals-Plans-Action Theory and Socioemotional Selectivity TheoryHughes, Destini J'ne 04 May 2016 (has links)
This manuscript attempts to act as an organizational entry pamphlet, in providing a wealth of knowledge to those who are looking to get into collegiate coaching for the first time. The majority of participants were selected from the coaching staff of NCAA Division I collegiate women's basketball teams, with a total of 55 participants involved in this study. Although this study was conducted specifically for new collegiate women basketball coaches that are starting the job for the first time, successfully, the results of this study can be applicable to any coach and any sport. Based on the responses of these participants, the main concepts that new coaches should focus on are: Grow in knowledge, Build Relationships, Do your Job, Know your value, Have Great Character, and Have a Balance. As far as what type of goals do coaches have, the primary goals that new coaches should focus on is Mentorship, holding a Standard of Excellence, and on Coaching/Education. The secondary goals that new coaches should have in order to pursue their primary goals, are the lessons that they learn through their experiences and mistakes, which will guide them and lead them to success. The study also supported the hypothesis derived from the socioemotional selectivity theory, which predicted that younger coaches would be more focused on knowledge related goals (goals that optimize the future) while older coaches would be more focused on emotionally meaningful goals (goals related to feelings). Knowing this information can help guide new coaches on how goals change over time and why. Lastly, all the coaches identified the importance of communication in developing and maintaining strong working relationships, not only with their players and staff, but also with administrators, boosters, and for networking purposes.
Earle, Elizabeth R.
22 September 2014
20th century theologian and philosopher Paul Tillich believed that religion could only be understood in the context of the surrounding culture. He attempted to assert Christianitys importance in the modern era, and did this through his use of language. In this study I examine how Tillichs rhetorical situation uniquely informed the communication style of his sermons. Drawing on the work of Lloyd Bitzer, this rhetorical situation includes Tillichs exigencies, rooted both in the personal and historical, his resources and constraints in the form of influences and limitations, and his audience which provided him with an arena. By examining selections from the three volumes of Tillichs sermons, it is possible to construct his communication theory in five parts. These five elements include logos, or the appropriate use of reason; kairos, or right-timing; language invention and reconfiguration, including translation of religious symbols into existential language; prophetic style; and a focus on community and love. This project is a unique contribution to Tillichian studies and homiletics, as I examine Tillichs sermons within a rhetorical and communicative frame.
McDonald II, Charles Austin
10 June 2014
Although interest in exorcism has spiked in real world and fictional filmic contexts, scholars have yet to fully identify the exorcism film as a subgenre of the horror film. Following Anne Rothes (2011) argument that representation of trauma in popular culture may function like a discursive knot in contemporary culture due to its vast associative powers of generating interactions between disparate ideas (p. 4), this study recognizes exorcism as a discursive knot that deserves further attention. Utilizing a case study approach, this dissertation focuses on three exorcism films: The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005), The Last Exorcism (2010), and The Conjuring (2013). Results concluded that although filmmakers utilize a distinct formula of narrative stages and signature characters to represent contemporary exorcism, such elements were negotiated through each films construction. Additionally, this study utilizes Lowensteins (2010) concept of spectacle horror to highlight dynamic elements of the exorcism film including: bodily contortions, film-viewer relationships, and intertextuality. Based on the analysis, gender stands as a significant theme in the exorcism films content and in conceptualizing its constitution. Exorcism films portray women as inescapably connected to men, but rebellious performances of possession provide liberatory possibilities for new symbolic orders. This study also indicates that representation of exorcism itself is gendered and draws attention to the distinct strategies characters utilize. Finally, this dissertation finds the mother-daughter relationship as a crucial site of stability (and horror) in the exorcism film.
Caswell, David M.
08 May 2014
This thesis aims to understand consensus decision making through the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) activists in Louisiana through autoethnography and interviews with various individuals involved in Louisiana LGBTQ organizations. When looking at the experiences and perceptions of the participants in relation to each other and the authors own experiences, the ideas equity, responsibility, and flexibility stand out along with organizational structure. This suggests that consensus may be defined based on these elements. In the narrow scope of this thesis, consensus building in queer spaces in Louisiana can be defined as the opportunity to be in community and to share in power, accountability, and understanding which is created at the intersection between organizational structure and the nature of personal relationships of the actors in that space.
Denham, Jonathan Paul
30 July 2014
This dissertation extends the work on teacher immediacy (TI) and student persistence by using the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1985) to account for variability in college student persistence. Students provided perceptions of their teachers immediacy behaviors using modified versions of Gorhams (1988) TI scale. Instruction prompts of the TI scale were manipulated to create four conditions. The results from Study 1 demonstrate that TI scale prompt language has an effect on the ways participants assess their teachers immediacy behaviors. The results from Study 2 show that student perceptions of their teachers immediacy behaviors change over the course of an academic semester, such that TI is statistically higher at the end of the semester than at the beginning, as measured by collecting data at four time points. The results from both studies generally support the hypotheses and suggest the TPB accurately predicts college student persistence. However, it is unclear how TI is influencing the overall TPB structural model. In some cases, adding TI to the TPB structural models resulted in a poorer fitting model. Discussions, limitations, and future research are provided for both studies.
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