• So much water

      Stirling, R. Brett (2001-08)
      At the heart of 'So much water' is twenty-six year old Elizabeth, a woman who is searching for her father and herself. The novel explores the inevitability of heredity as Elizabeth tries to come to grips with the truth of her mother's eighteen-year-old murder and her father's role in the crime. Elizabeth drives from Ohio where she has lived since the murder to Connecticut where the crime took place. The story is told through a limited omniscient narrator who focuses on Elizabeth and her father, Colin. Interrupting the main narrative are four journal entries from Elizabeth's mother and a final entry from Elizabeth herself. There are things in people's lives they feel should have control over. They plan. They organize their lives. They take precautions and proceed carefully. The world, however, is beyond their intentions. Only after reconciling this discrepancy can characters, including Elizabeth, continue living.
    • Social benefits and cultural consequences of basketball in Alaska

      Droulias, Andreas; Koester, David; Schweitzer, Peter; Schneider, William; Koskey, Michael; Pappous, Sakis (2013-08)
      This dissertation is an ethnographic study of the social and cultural significance of the game of basketball in the community of Nenana, Alaska. Since the building of high school gymnasiums across rural Alaska in the mid-1970s, basketball has become a popular and socially significant activity in rural Alaskan communities. The dissertation focuses on the nature of the social relations that arise from playing basketball and related activities and the constitution of a social space within which these relations become meaningful. It argues that the sport is a metaphor for community cohesiveness and ultimately a reflection of the social and cultural construction of community itself. Moreover, basketball has an effect on the everyday life of a community by providing a symbolic stage, which reinforces community identity and a sense of belonging through the renegotiation of interpersonal relations, dissemination of cultural values, and storytelling.
    • The social construction of dream sharing: disclosure between intimate partners

      Scaman, Michelle (2005-05)
      Psychology thus far has been the leading discipline in the study of dreams and supposes dreams are intrapersonal. Through the theoretical lens of Social Construction of Reality and the framework of self-disclosure, this study focuses on how intimate couples share dreams as a communicative process. Social Construction of Reality is the creation, maintenance, and transformation of reality through social interaction (Deetz, 1982). Crotty (1998) states that social construction involves 'knowledge' and 'meaningful reality' that is based on 'human practices, being constructed in and of interaction between human beings and their world' (p. 42). This social construction of 'meaningful reality' provides the basis for this study. The method of gathering data included a focus group of five participants followed by narrative or conversational interviews with six individual participants. The focus group was guided by the work of Morgan (1997) and Stewart (1990) and the narrative interviews were based on the work of Kvale (1996) and Mishler (1991). Together the Review of the Literature and methodology sections provide a foundation for research on the way relationship is constituted through communicative dialogue of dream sharing. Three primary themes emerged from analysis of the Human Science capta: (1) relational turning points, (2) mutuality, and (3) dream dialectics.
    • The social construction of formal and informal expectations of Army officers' wives

      O'Donnell, Lauren C. (2003-05)
      This research study utilizes qualitative narrative analysis to better understand the lived experience of United States Army officers' wives, particularly in regard to the socially constructed expectations for officers' wives to assume traditional women's roles. The study is undertaken from the epistemology of Constructionism and the theoretical perspective of the social construction of reality. Narrative interviews with eight Army officers' wives revealed one principal emergent theme, labeled "Noblesse Oblige," as well as several sub-themes encompassing aspects of officer's rank and position as social status, perceived expectations of officers' wives and the resulting reactions and actions, and role preservation of officers' wives. The experiential reality of contemporary Army officers' wives is fraught with tension over the acceptance of traditional women's roles, socially constructed perceptions of status, and issues of identity as they relate to a marital relationship.
    • The social construction of health crisis in intimate relational communication

      Van Haastert, Christen Colette (2006-05)
      For women who have dealt with health crises, intimate relationships are the single most significant resource for coming to understand how life is affected by such occurrences. Health crises are times of reconstitution of self and relationships (Lorber, 1997). The present research began in Human Science, the epistemology of Constructionism, the theory of Social Construction of Reality, and used Narrative Inquiry and conversational interviewing to produce an understanding of women's lived experience of health crisis in intimate relationships. This research discusses the creation of the meanings of self, other, and relationship for women who have experienced health crisis. During analysis, three themes emerged: 'sick of being sick, ' 'it's not a big deal, ' and 'I need empathy!' This study has demonstrated that the experience of health crisis has significant effects on the lived experience of women in North American culture.
    • The social construction of self in fan cultures: creating self identity in fan communities

      Hazlett, Susan Diane; McWherter, Pamela; Brown, Jin; Sheane, Sue (2002-05)
      Star Trek fans have long been portrayed in the media as overweight women and geeky men. This study takes a closer look at Star Trek fans and their lived experience. Through conversational interviewing, the nature of the reality experienced in fandom is explored and implications for the relationship between the reality shared by participants in everyday life and the reality shared by fandom is sought. The analysis, which was carried out throughout the interview process, provided insights into the realities experienced by fans.
    • Social life and ritual practices in an Alaskan Pentecostal community (The First Assembly of God, Fairbanks)

      Robarge, Nickole Kathren; Plattet, Patrick; Koester, David; Schweitzer, Peter (2013-08)
      This MA thesis research project focuses on the First Assembly of God Church in Fairbanks, Alaska. It seeks to better understand the implementation of Pentecostal-Charismatic (PC) Christianity in 21st century urban Alaska. While social activism and outreach form a significant portion of the success of Pentecostalism in Alaska (as anywhere else), my research shows that it is also substantially due to the appeal of ritual to newcomers. In particular, I suggest that there are forms of spiritual possession and spirit embodiment that need to be examined in relation to the attractiveness of Pentecostalism in Fairbanks. There is a gap in academic literature pertaining to Pentecostal rituals. Recent anthropological studies have focused primarily on notions of conversion, rupture, empowerment, and modernization. My research complements these studies by shedding an unprecedented light on Pentecostal processes of ritualization. Participant observation and interviews were used to examine ritual activity and the nature of spiritual gifts within PC Christianity in Fairbanks.
    • Socialization experiences of Russian employees at the University of Alaska Fairbanks: cultural approach

      Markova, Elena P. (2004-05)
      This qualitative exploratory study examines Russian employees' lived experiences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and the influence UAF culture has on the communicative socialization process. Like other international workers employed at various positions in American universities, Russian employees, especially Research and Teaching assistants, may experience difficulty in terms of language, culture, training, in terms of adapting to American culture, specifically American academic culture, to succeed in their jobs. The literature review for this study includes theoretical perspectives from intercultural communication, organizational communication, and the social construction of reality. Russian employees participate in in-depth narrative interviews about their communication experiences of socialization at U AF. Four repetitive themes emerge: (1) vulnerable self; (2) competition; (3) freedom; and (4) informality. Analysis also provides insight on cultural similarities and differences between Russians and Americans in their interactions at UAF, and on an interpersonal level. Implications for future research in relation to how cultural similarities and differences are revealed in a communication process between Russian graduate and professional students and their American counterparts, and how these similarities and differences affect their everyday interactions
    • Something missing in our marriage: emotional responses to marital conflict in Chinese-American couples

      Soo, Pikha Doobie (2005-05)
      There is significant literature regarding marital conflict for couples of the same cultural background, but few studies focus on Chinese-American couples, which are becoming increasingly common. The purpose of this research is twofold. The first goal is to begin to understand the lived experience of marital conflict for Chinese women married to American men. The second goal is to better understand these Chinese women's responses to such conflicts, in particular their emotional responses, and their choices for dealing with these conflicts. Conversational interviewing and narratives analysis were employed in this qualitative research. Six Chinese women who were not raised in the US and who are married to American men participated in this study. Six primary themes emerged from the narratives. The Chinese women: 1) have unique, individual reasons for marrying American men; 2) do not experience language differences as a source of conflict in their intercultural marriages; 3) have difficulty accepting and adjusting to what they see as independence on the part of their American husbands; 4) experience qi liang ... in their intercultural marriages; 5) experience anger in their intercultural marriages; and 6) use emotion-linked strategies to elicit attention from their husbands. It would be interesting to study the perspective of the American men in these intercultural relationships, and to compare and contrast their perceptions of the sources of conflict. Future research should examine other Asian women, for there are significant numbers of women from Korea and Japan now marrying American men.
    • Something more than naked: essays on being a runner

      Lamborn, Eve (2006-05)
      Something More Than Naked: Essays on Being a Runner is a collection of essays that examines running as a way to know one's self. The essays are about the experience of running in competition and in training, in a structured program and on solitary mornings, as metaphor and as pure action. Running exposes the narrator to her own weaknesses and strengths because it tests her and demands an honest answer. An athlete engages in sport on both a self-conscious and subconscious level. In order to reach deeper into her experiences, the narrator expands the self-conscious persona to intrude upon the realm of the subconscious athlete, and in the process explores the role of memory, language, and awareness in shaping an event. Many times the narrator realizes a gap, sometimes intentional and sometimes unavoidable, between thoughts and expression. As a result of that realization, some running experiences lead the narrator to a greater understanding of the way she interacts with the world and the people around her. As the collection progresses, the narrator's focus shifts from wondering how others see her to more fully expressing how running exists in her own life.
    • "Something that not everybody has": parents' reasons for enrolling in Spanish immersion program

      Schimmack, Danya; Siekmann, Sabine; Marlow, Patrick; Martelle, Wendy (2018-08)
      Immersion programs are a form of bilingual education where content classes are taught in a second language. Immersion programs are generally optional choices which means that parents must make the conscious decision to enroll their children in the specific program. Thus, my research question: why do parents decide to enroll their children in the Spanish Immersion Program of Chugiak, Alaska? This research question and site were selected based on my own experience as a learner in the program and my personal curiosity towards my own parents' enrollment decisions. This study involved semi-structured interviews with twelve parents, including my own parents, focusing on their reasons for enrolling their children in the Spanish Immersion Program in Chugiak. Findings reflected the general benefits of bilingualism including: academic, cognitive, and social. Participants also noted that the program helped expose their children to other cultures and to have a better understanding of diversity. Several parents also stated that the immersion program would provide their children with a unique and valuable experience that would lead to future opportunities. These findings can help inform other parents that are in the process of deciding where to enroll their children. The findings can also inform schools about what prospective parents value when they are considering different school options.
    • Somewhere north of here

      Sheehan, Christopher Maurice (2004-05)
      'Somewhere North of Here' is a collection of short stories and essays. It very purposefully blurs the traditional lines of prose, and forces the question of the difference between fiction and nonfiction. I believe there is truth in much of the fiction, and a little bit of fiction in some of the truth. And I guess what interests me most is how it is that sometimes an everyday event is simply that, while other times the simplest occurrence can change the course of a life. This collection examines where it is these events may leave the characters living through them. They are all real. Stories, that is.
    • Sorority and stigmatized women in Wollstonecraft's 'Wrongs of woman' and Gaskell's 'Ruth'

      Tilbury, Jennifer Lee (2003-05)
      This paper explores sorority and stigmatized women in Mary Wollstonecraft's unfinished novel 'Wrongs of Woman' and Elizabeth Gaskell's 'Ruth.' The paper begins with a discussion of women's relationships in literature and the ways in which these representations have been limited by a dominant patriarchal literary tradition. The paper is organized to show the influence Wollstonecraft had on Gaskell's work, with particular regards to the characters' relationships with 'fallen women.' In each text, the women struggle against literary and social plots that threaten to overpower their identities. Wollstonecraft's Jemima is re-worked into Gaskell's Jemima, a woman who challenges and rejects the attitudes that isolate marked women from society as she articulates new ways of seeing the plot of the so-called 'fallen woman.' Wollstonecraft and Gaskell ultimately offer a valorized vision of sorority.
    • Spanish Exploration In The North Pacific And Its Effect On Alaska Place Names

      Luna, Albert Gregory (2000)
      Precipitated by the rapid advance of Russian fur hunters across the Aleutian Islands, the Spanish government awoke from its two hundred-year complacent slumber to define and defend its northern border. In all, seven expeditions crossed 54&deg;40<super>'</super>N in the years between 1774 and 1792. Though not obvious today, these voyages left a vestigial mark on the state's topynomy along the Gulf of Alaska. From the town of Valdez to Bucareli Bay, these names are remains of a territorial rivalry in which the Spanish lost. <p> Refusal to publish its findings, lack of private entrepreneurs, and the inability of Spain to assess Alaska for its inherent value all guaranteed that the only thing Spanish in the state would be a scattering of place names. However, the visitation and subsequent maneuvering to possess Alaska among the Russians, British, and English in this crucial period is a neglected yet fascinating area of Alaskan history. <p>
    • Sparks across the gap: essays

      Mericle, Megan E.; Farmer, Daryl; Stanley, Sarah; Brightwell, Geri; Harney, Eileen (2017-05)
      Sparks Across the Gap is a collection of creative nonfiction essays that explores the humanity and artistry behind topics in the sciences, including black holes, microbes, and robotics. Each essay acts a bridge between the scientific and the personal. I examine my own scientific inheritance and the unconventional relationship I have with the field of science, searching for ways to incorporate research into my everyday life by looking at science and technology through the lens of my own memory. I critique issues that affect the culture of science, including female representation, the ongoing conflict with religion and the problem of separating individuality from collaboration. Sparks Across the Gap is my attempt to parse the confusion, hybridity and interconnectivity of living in science.
    • Speaking of change: a conversation analysis of organizational change in a business meeting

      Ludwig, Erik J.; Arundale, Robert B.; DeCaro, Peter A.; Shoaps, Robyn A. (2014-05)
      Current theories of communication in human organizations conceptualize them as entities that are created, maintained, and changed in the everyday discourse among the individuals who comprise them. In arguing this general perspective, however, these theories do not come to grips with how the processes of creating, maintaining, and changing are actually implemented in the actual day-to-day talk that occurs in organizations. This study utilized an abstract characterization of episodic and continuous change in organizations to inform a single-case, conversation analytic investigation of the talk-in-interaction in a recording of business meeting in a small company. The analysis revealed that features of both episodic and continuous change were evident or "hearable" in the talk, in particular the active restructuring of the organizational chart for one division of the company. These changes were evident both in the explicit discussion, as well as in key internal features of the talk such as shifts in the organization of turntaking. The analysis makes evident that current theorizing in organizational communication in general, and in organizational change in particular, needs to be amended in order to more directly link abstract generalizations about change to the details of how it is achieved in everyday talk.
    • Squid song

      Miles, Christopher Lee (2012-05)
      Through the use of figurative language, these poems not only address, but also extrapolate from, the personal experience of being deployed to, fighting in, and returning from, modern warfare. A journey through the many voices of war's participants, from inanimate objects to mythical characters, this book is an aggregate of subjective and imaginative knowledge which displays itself in rhythmical and sound-based poetic techniques. Each poem sings a note in the chorus of the twenty-first century war on terrorism.
    • Steps to freedom: the process of escaping abuse

      Armstrong, Sandra J. (2002-12)
      The purpose of this study was to look at factors involved in the process of women leaving abusive relationships. In two interviews of one to two hours each, each of the three women told the story of her abusive relationship. Study findings indicate that these women began abusive relationships during unstable or chaotic periods of their lives, when they were more vulnerable to manipulation. The abuse caused a distortion of reality for these women, but as soon as they were able to gain a clear view of reality, they immediately left their relationships.
    • Still life with razor

      Helleberg, Thomas Harald (2003-05)
      Although 'Still Life with Razor' begins with an account of art vandalism, the inspiration for the novel--the 2000 America Online-Time Warner merger--could not be further removed from the art world. While the novel deals with art, its subject is how value is assigned to things that lack intrinsic worth, regardless of whether this struggle occurs in debates over a piece in a gallery, in retrospective attempts to understand a love affair, or in the fluctuation of stocks in response to rumor and promise. 'Still Life with Razor' is first the story of a narrator attempting to puzzle out his involvement with a vandal. While narrative-as-defense is a technique of crime fiction (and common when narrators appeal to readers' sympathies), this novel also uses an artificial present tense to show the narrator's nostalgia for events that he has misunderstood and that have had severe negative consequences on his life.
    • Stories Find You: Narratives Of Place In A Central Yup'ik Community

      Cusack-Mcveigh, Holly M.; Morrow, Phyllis (2004)
      Yup'ik narratives of place make powerful statements about the health or illness of the world. Such stories illustrate how the land itself is responsive to human thought and action. The land, in essence, is a being among beings, and a particularly powerful and sensitive one. The sentient world responds to joy as well as to sorrow. This is an essential aspect of place in southwestern Alaska. In Hooper Bay, stories confer both personal and political power, allowing people to instruct others about dangerous situations, and indirectly make statements about events that are otherwise unspoken for fear of "making bad things worse." Narrative discourse of place empowers people who have experienced a history of domination and control. Man-made places, like the land, are also barometers of change. Stories allow people to speak about unspeakable tragedies that reflect the tensions of their relationships with outsiders. Other stories define and exclude those outsiders, such as missionaries and teachers, who are particularly associated with the institutions that represent domination. I argue, then, that for Yupiit in Hooper Bay, stories are not simply symbolic expressions but are active in social life. As Elsie Mather says, "Storytelling is part of the action of living" (Morrow and Schneider 1995:33).