• Mass media theory and women's zines on the world wide web

      Wagaman, Jennifer Elaine (2000-08)
      Two mass media theories, 'Spiral of Silence theory' and 'Uses and Gratifications theory, ' have been used to explain and evaluate media usage from a feminist perspective. These theories both succeed and fail when used to analyze the World Wide Web as a mass medium. In order to effectively examine so-called 'fringe' groups and their publications on the Web, a new theory is needed that considers the more user-driven interface that the Internet and the World Wide Web provide for users. Using a modest case study of women's Web zines, (online underground magazines) this paper attempts to show how some young women use the World Wide Web to publish a different proportion of ideas and opinions than those currently available in the mainstream mass media, and goes on to show that the two current mass media theories used most by feminists are inadequate for the study of the World Wide Web as a mass medium. This paper takes into consideration historical theoretical approaches to the mass media, as well as the social constructionist principles important to looking at the media from a feminist point of view. Finally, it lays a framework of theoretical assumptions that should be considered when examining the Web as a mass medium.
    • Music: a portrait of woman

      Wellman, Amy R.; DeCaro, Peter; Richey, Jean; Anahita, Sine (2012-08)
      Music in today's society is ubiquitous. It is in the car, the cinema, on television, in the doctor's office, in the home, on the other end of the phone; it really is everywhere. Music arguably is a large part of culture and as such, has the ability to construct social realities. In hopes to understand how media constructs the image of the female, a contextual analysis was performed on the lyrics of the top twenty-five country and pop songs according to Billboard.com. This was done using Grounded Theory through the employment of coding. Results showed that although country and pop music depict women in a slightly different manner, they both for the most part depict women in traditional gender roles. Furthermore, the propitiation and adherence to traditional gender roles sustain and conciliate patriarchy. Therefore the depictions of women in the music lyrics were then analyzed as processes of patriarchy.
    • Networks of change: extending Alaska-based communication networks to meet the challenges of the anthropocene

      Hum, Richard E.; Taylor, Karen; Chapin, F. Stuart, III; Koskey, Michael; Brower, Pearl Kiyawn Nageak; Carlson, Cameron (2017-08)
      The Anthropocene is a contested term. As I conceptualize it throughout this dissertation, the Anthropocene is defined by an increased coupling of social and environmental systems at the global scale such that the by-products of human processes dominate the global stratigraphic record. Additionally, I connect the term to a worldview that sees this increased coupling as an existential threat to humanity's ability to sustain life on the planet. Awareness that the planet-wide scale of this coupling is fundamentally a new element in earth history is implicit in both understandings. How individuals and communities are impacted by this change varies greatly depending on a host of locally specific cross-scale factors. The range of scales (physical and social) that must be negotiated to manage these impacts places novel demands on the communication networks that shape human agency. Concern for how these demands are being met, and whose interests are being served in doing so, are the primary motivation for my research. My work is grounded in the communication-oriented theoretical traditions of media ecology and the more recent social-ecological system conceptualizations promoted in the study of resilience. I combine these ideas through a mixed methodology of digital ethnography and social network analysis to explore the communication dynamics of four Alaska-based social-ecological systems. The first two examples capture communication networks that formed in response to singular, rapid change environmental events (a coastal storm and river flood). The latter two map communication networks that have formed in response to more diffuse, slower acting environmental changes (a regional webinar series and an international arctic change conference). In each example, individuals or organizations enter and exit the mapped network(s) as they engage in the issue and specific communication channel being observed. Under these parameters a cyclic pattern of network expansion and contraction is identified. Expansion events are heavily influenced by established relationships retained during previous contraction periods. Many organizational outreach efforts are focused on triggering and participating in expansion events, however my observations highlight the role of legacy networks in system change. I suggest that for organizations interested in fostering sustainable socialecological relationships in the Anthropocene, strategic intervention may best be accomplished through careful consideration of how communicative relationships are maintained immediately following and in between expansion events. In the final sections of my dissertation I present a process template to support organizations interested in doing so. I include a complete set of learning activities to facilitate organizational use as well as examples of how the Alaska Native Knowledge Network is currently applying the process to meet their unique organizational needs.
    • Not just small potatoes: a comparison of four agricultural education models in alaska

      Silverman, Annie; Taylor, Karen; Richey, Jean; Herron, Johanna (2016-08)
      Agricultural education is a means of increasing food security, increasing willingness to try new fruits and vegetables, improving test scores, and increasing community resiliency. School gardens, which are one form of agricultural education, are the primary focus of this thesis. In order to identify barriers to maintaining school garden programs, semi-structured interviews were conducted at four school sites in the Fairbanks area. In order to compare emerging themes from the interview data in the Fairbanks area to school sites throughout the state, a survey was also administered through Survey Monkey to schools that received the Alaska state Farm to School grant between the years 2011-2014. Using Diffusion of Innovation Theory as a theoretical lens to perform qualitative data analyses, several emerging themes are highlighted including: An increase in student’s nutritional awareness, children’s love of dirt, participant empowerment, the need for more time, a decrease in productivity where uncertainty is present, and the need to further develop communication channels between agricultural education practitioners. Recommendations are made based upon findings to further support the creation and maintenance of agricultural education projects throughout the state.
    • Organizational communication and culture in female predominated workplaces

      Comstock, Sarah Rush (2000-05)
      While equality of the sexes has still not been achieved, the ongoing struggle for parity has paved the way for an influx of females into workplaces. In many organizations this increase has resulted in a higher ratio of females to males. Offices that are predominated by on sex or the other create communication problems, attitudes, and ways of dealing with co-workers on an interpersonal level that organizations with a balance between males and females do not face. This study will explore the perspective of females working in gender predominant organizations, and also observations on organizational culture; intra-organizational communication; communicated support among organizational members; and the overall uniqueness of the organization.
    • Organizational culture and meanings in tension: an analysis of the Alaska Volcano Observatory

      Worley, Shelly Lisa (2000-05)
      The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) is an organization that is responsible for observing volcanic activity in Alaska and surrounding regions. This organization has a great impact on the public and agencies in Alaska because it is responsible for ensuring the safety of many Alaskans, and to many people who live in neighboring regions. AVO is not only responsible for saving lives, but also responsible for notifying agencies that depend on this organization for volcanic crisis notification. This study is an ethnography of the Alaska Volcano Observatory and through interpretation of my data as research too, I provide a sense of place for this organization. Detailed journals of my experience as a member of this organization have been analyzed to understand the culture of the place.
    • People in Alaska's sex trade: their lived experiences and policy recommendations

      Burns, Tara; DeCaro, Peter; Richey, Jean; Sunwood, Kayt; Jarrett, Brian (2015-05)
      Much policy has been created in the last several years regarding people in Alaska's sex trade. Although researchers and government agencies have called attention to the need for evidence based policy about prostitution and sex trafficking, there had been no research about the characteristics of people in Alaska's sex trade or the effects of policy on those people. This research filled that hole. As action research, this study provided a means for the voices of a hidden, criminalized population to reach policy-makers. This research was grounded in a participatory worldview and triangulated data from surveys, interviews, and public records. Emergent themes and participant recommendations were organized to inform public policy.
    • People's experiences of gossiping: a narrative analysis

      Nekrassova, Dina V. (2002-12)
      This study employs narrative methodology to develop an understanding of meanings people make of their gossiping experiences. Four theoretical approaches are identified in the review of literature: functionalistic approach, gossip as information management, and gossip as a social form of discreet indiscretion which extended as a basis for examining gossiping as a communication experience. Four themes emerged from six narrative interviews, regarding the co-researchers' interpretations of their gossiping experiences: secrecy as a gossiping experience, gossiping as a negative experience, gossiping as a positive experience, and gossiping as being connected. The equivocal nature of gossiping stems from the participants' engagement in two distinct sets of practices out of single set of resources.
    • A phenomenology of women and aging: a communication perspective

      Pedersen, Grace F. (2006-12)
      This qualitative study examines the female experience of aging in late-midlife. It involves women between 49 and 70 years of age, who characterize late-midlife years through narratives of lived experience. Their stories provide description of events that introduced or reinforced their sense of self-as-aging, and relate insights gained socially and relationally in the aging process. Conversational interviews, with participant observation of nonverbal communication, were conducted and recorded as my method of data collection, and phenomenological methodology was used in description, analysis, and interpretation of the resulting capta.
    • Post stroke interpersonal communication: an intimate exploration of stroke survivors' lived experiences

      Hendley, Lora L.; Richey, Jean; Taylor, Karen; Jarrett, Brian (2015-12)
      This qualitative study explores the personal and intimate lived experiences of stroke survivors who suffer the comorbid emotional sequelae of Post Stroke Depression (PSD) and how it affects their rehabilitation and interpersonal relationships post stroke. By using Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT), the idea of Social Construction of Identity, the epistemology of Narrative Inquiry (NI), and conversational interviews (CI), with stroke survivors, their spouses/significant others, friends, and other family members, the aim of this body of research has been to take on the difficult task of observing how stroke survivors navigate the difficult and sometimes daunting path that all stroke survivors must travel as they attempt the reconstruction of their self post stroke. They face every new day with the knowledge of who they once were and who they are now. The person that they are now has become their reality. Many stroke survivors regardless of the hemisphere in which the brain lesion occurs, suffer from some degree of the post stroke emotional sequelae, or a condition following and resulting from a disease, of post stroke depression (PSD). With the comorbid occurrence of PSD comes yet another challenge to their reconstruction process. The findings of this research study have remained consistent with the current research data and literature on stroke, stroke recovery, PSD, and aphasia.
    • A qualitative approach to understanding the everyday difference between acquaintanceship and friendship: how western organizational members discriminate these concepts through communicative interaction

      Hines, Bobby A. (2006-05)
      Stewart & Bennett posited the term 'friend, ' used by members of U.S. American culture, 'may refer to anyone from a passing acquaintance to a lifetime intimate' (p. 100-101). Although American use of the term illustrates broad applicability as acceptable, Americans describe the label as having different meanings depending on those to whom they apply it. This qualitative research study utilizes narrative inquiry to gain a better understanding of the everyday lived experience of U.S. American organizational members' friendships and acquaintanceships within the organizational setting and how they perceive the way they discern between friends and acquaintances inside an organization in comparison to those interpersonal relationships in their everyday social world. Through thematic analysis of capta from the conversational interviews of seven co-researchers, two themes arose: American organizational members have difficulty identifying 'friend, ' and differentiate 'friend' from 'organizational friend' by whether the relationship is primarily based in an infra or supra-contextual setting.
    • Questing for friendship: a conversation analysis of Dungeons and Dragons

      Greenstreet, Brandon J. (2012-05)
      This study addresses the doing, of friendship, the dynamic, continuous, unpredictable and emergent process of relating, as described by the Dialectics of Friendship. Examining, segments of the talk among a small group of male friends playing, the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons using the approach of conversation analysis, this study sought to determine the ways in which these friendship dialectics are evident in their utterance by utterance micro-level talk-in-interaction. The resources and practices they employ in interactionally achieving a number of different conversational actions as their talk unfolds were revealed and can be understood or interpreted as enactments of one or more of the contradictory poles of six dialectics, demonstrating empirically dialectical contradictions, the tensions between their polarities, and their interdependence and interaction with other dialectics arises emergently out of talk-in-interaction, and is taken up and negotiated by participants.
    • Reading Comprehension Strategies In Children With High-Functioning Autism: A Social Constructivist Perspective

      Cotter, June Ann; Richey, Jean (2011)
      Individuals with autism see the world, by definition of the diagnosis, in a very different way than the typical student. Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, is a defining characteristic of this disability. Students with autism both can and need to learn to comprehend when reading to be successful in school and in life. This study evaluated the reading comprehension abilities of three students with autism and using a strength-based approach targeting comprehension strategies. These strategies also appear to have increased the students' communication skills. All participants were medically or educationally diagnosed with autism. All had an educationally-defined label of autism and had been identified as having difficulty with reading comprehension. The study is presented as a case study with limited participants. The author investigated the reading comprehension abilities of each student and through direct instruction provided support for the skills the student already possessed. Additional skills were then introduced thereby increasing the students' abilities to comprehend. An additional effect of increasing student personal communication skills was also noted.
    • Relationship maintenance, democratic decision making, and decision agreement

      Tucker, Jenna M.; Sager, Kevin L.; Richey, Jean; Taylor, Karen (2012-05)
      Relationship maintenance uses different strategies to maintain a relationship at the desired level of intimacy. Democratic decision making is a practice through which each individual has equal rights in the decision-making process. The present study investigated connections among two areas of research. In particular, this study examined the correlations among relationship maintenance behaviors, democratic decision making, and decision agreement. Both hypotheses in the study were supported, which suggests relationship maintenance promotes democratic decision making, which in turn promotes decision agreement.
    • Risk and crisis communication: coordinating for a northern environment

      Kezer, Patrick S. (2006-05)
      With the destruction of 9-11, and more recently the Asian Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, came an urgency for communities across the US to be better prepared for such events. Human-caused and natural disasters are the principal force that crisis managers must face when planning, coordinating, and preparing for a crisis. This research examines the lived experience of crisis managers in the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) as they engage in the process of planning coordinated responses to such crises. The study employs conversational interviewing as method and follows a narrative methodology. The results of the study suggest that crisis managers in the FNSB are a cohesive group who depend on mutual aid in the event of crises, and understand that there are boundaries to their response, yet are confident in their abilities. They respond to such events following a hierarchical command structure similar to that of the military. Their coordinated efforts are regulated by outside agencies and include interacting with the media on a routine basis.
    • Russian women's experience of friendship: examining the application of American theories

      Dukhovskaya, Elisaveta N. (2002-05)
      This qualitative exploratory study examined Russian women's lived experience of their friendships with other Russian women, and the applicability of American theories of interpersonal relationships and friendship in interpreting that experiencing. The relational dialectic approach to friendship served as the theoretical framework of this study. The capta obtained by means of conversational interviewing of five Russian women were analyzed thematically. Interpreting the women's experience using relational dialectics produced four themes involving three dialectics. Two more dialectics observed in American friendships, certainty/uncertainty and affection/instrumentality, were not evident in interpreting the friendship experiences of these women. Analysis also provided insight on cultural similarities and differences between Russian women and American in the definition of friendship. Implications for future research considering the culture and the relational dialectics of friendship were noted.
    • Schools in rural Alaska with higher rates of student achievement: a search for positive deviance in education

      Hill, Melissa M.; Jacobsen, Gary; Adams, Barbara; Richey, Jean; Barnhardt, Ray (2017-05)
      This study sought to identify schools in rural Alaska with higher rates of student achievement and study what factors contribute to that success. Alaska Native students make up a large majority of the students attending school in small remote villages across the state. Data, however, have shown that Alaska Native students constantly perform lower than any other demographic group on every subject level and lower at every grade level when tested using state assessments. This study begins with a journey to understand the complexity of the problems that affect schooling in rural Alaska, ranging from teacher turnover to school district size and oversight. However, it is important to examine this current challenge by examining the history of education and how that history has affected Alaska Native people today. To identify schools in rural Alaska with higher rates of student achievement, a binary variable was used to determine positive deviance. Data analysis drew on academic achievement of each school as measured by the 5-year average score of the school in three subjects: Reading, Mathematics and Writing. While the results did not yield a case study for positive deviance, the findings and conclusion, using a critical race theory lens question whether schools today, intentionally or unintentionally, are still modeled after the same framework and operate in the same fashion as they did when they were intended to assimilate Alaska Natives to become better citizens. Using an advocacy worldview, this study draws upon the unchallenged truth that schools in rural Alaska may never perform as a collective as well as or better than their urban counterparts under this model.
    • Sense versus sentiment: emergent persuasive strategies of non-profit organizations in dichotomous economic climates

      Miller, Alexis S. (2011-05)
      This study seeks to explore the rhetoric employed by the United Way in contrasting economic contexts. With a theoretical framework of Aristotle's Theory of Rhetoric, this study employs rhetorical criticism. Interpretation of results suggests that pathos is most prevalent in crisis conditions, such as a recession, whereas logos is most prevalent under stable economic circumstances. Initial conclusions drawn from the study highlight the importance of community supportiveness appeals in crisis conditions.
    • 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.