• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Student diversity and curriculum in the basic public speaking course: implications for creating an advanced public speaking course

      Sehnert, Shannon E.; McWherter, P.; Brown, J.; Arundale, R. (2001-05)
      This research study employs qualitative narrative analysis in order to develop an understanding of the lived experience of Graduate Teaching Assistants teaching the basic public speaking course at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Interviews with Graduate Teaching Assistants reveal three themes. First, it is important to recognize and address each student's abilities and experience as unique. Second, based on individual students' abilities and experience, they should be allowed to select and define their own speaking situations and goals. Finally, students must have a comfortable and collaborative environment in which to experiment, practice, and respond to the choices made by their classmates. In a subsequent focus group interview, the co-researchers responded to a published course description for an advanced public speaking course. Co-researchers identified specific aspects of the advanced course description as addressing the emergent themes, providing implications for creating an advanced public speaking course at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
    • Survey Research On The Relationship Between Immediacy Behaviors, Communication Competency, And Philanthropic Success

      Drygas, Emily Cameron; Cooper, Christine (2008)
      In this study, 124 Alaskan-based development professionals responded to a questionnaire concerning their perceived communicative competency and their self-reported immediacy behaviors in relation to fund-raising success. Several key findings resulted. First, in relation to the role of communication competency, this study suggests that fund-raising success is driven by the donor, rather than the fund-raising professional's communication competency. Second, the study found that successful fund-raising professionals have higher levels of verbal and non-verbal immediacy behaviors (when compared to non-successful fundraisers). Third, this study finds that development professionals who work in the geographic region of Northern Alaska use less verbal immediacy behaviors than those development professionals who represent regions in south-central, southeast, interior, and statewide districts. Finally, the demographics presented in this study support the priority need for Alaskan fundraisers to continue to grow their donor base since only 14% of the respondents reported that they are reliant on face-to-face meetings with donors for gifts in the range of $18,000--$300,000. This can be attributed to the "newness" of philanthropic work in Alaska and highlights the incredible growth potential for this field in the future.
    • Teaching adolescents conflict management skills

      DeLong, Debra M. (2011-05)
      In response to a parents request a workshop to teach a conflict management workshop to high school students was created. A pre-post test design to assess the effectiveness of the workshop was used, with the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument as the measurement. Responses were available for 76 students who were evenly divided between females and males. Overall preferences for using conflict styles did not show a statistically significant change; however, preferences for individual styles did change, with competition showing a statistically significant difference.
    • Teaching conflict management: active and traditional learning approaches in a group communication course

      Welborn, Rhonda D. (2007-05)
      The vital role of effective groups within modern organizations requires attention to the dynamics of group communication, specifically conflict management. The first context in which most individuals learn group communication skills is in the university classroom. Sims (2006) asserts that the established literature examining approaches to teaching has convinced most scholars that the student's classroom experience must advance beyond the traditional lecture format, to more interactive student involvement. This study investigated the hypothesis that active learning would result in higher perceptions of self-efficacy in students' group conflict management than would traditional lecture instruction. This study also explores issues associated with differences in instructional methods, as well as change in self-efficacy across time periods. University students in a group communication course who received either active learning or lecture based instruction in group conflict management voluntarily completed a conflict communication self-efficacy measure, and two conflict management measures. The analyses indicated that self-efficacy did increase significantly across time periods, however, no evidence was found of a difference between instructional methods. Measurement issues, the importance of a manipulation check, implications of the findings, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
    • TEST College of Rural and Community Development 9/25/17

      CHISUM (2017-09)
      TEST College of Rural and Community Development 9/25/17
    • The reconstructed self: understanding the private and public identity of a mother of a child with autism

      Tessen, Danielle Rene'e; Richey, Jean A.; Imbler, Ross M.; Taylor, Karen M. (2014-05)
      The puzzle pattern of the autism awareness ribbon signifies the mystery of life on the spectrum. The spectrum is characterized by the wide range of possible diagnoses of autism. One family out of every 68 is affected by autism. Each shape and color of the puzzle illustrates the diversity of experience for each family and person living with autism. Therefore, the people living the everyday life of autism provide an insightful understanding of how the puzzle pieces fit together. The central focus of this research was the lived experience of the interviewees. Nine mothers of children diagnosed with autism were interviewed. Five themes emerged once the interviews were conducted: (a) public scrutiny, (b) family and friend responses, (c) mother versus society, (d) guilt and stress, and (e) advocacy and networking. Each of these themes represents the stories of mothers who live with children on the spectrum. Each story shared provides the reader with a deeper understanding of mothers' experiences who live with children on the spectrum.
    • Through the looking glass: constructing sexual identity

      Foore, Kimberly Ann (2004-05)
      The present research explored how contemporary women define their sexual identity and communicate their needs/wants for sexual gratification during the act of sexual intimacy. Using human science epistemology, methodology, and methods, eight women's narratives were co-constructed into two emergent themes: Defining sexuality as self-stereotyping identity and Setting the stage for uncertainty as mask. This research explored the unique definitions of sexuality from the co-researchers perspective and ultimately determined that sexual identity is inextricably bound to self-presentation and impression management. It was also discovered that these women communicate their sexual needs nonverbally and 'hide' behind a mask of uncertainty out of a culturally developed fear of being judged and/or labeled negatively for being too sexually experienced.
    • Touristic encounters of an intercultural kind: communication between volunteers and international visitors at a visitors information center

      Peterson, Sherrill Lea (2004-05)
      This qualitative research examined the lived experience of volunteers in providing information to international travelers at a Visitors Information Center. The research focused on intercultural communication during these touristic encounters. Interpersonal communication and meaning engagement practices between volunteer information providers and international visitors were examined from a narrative theoretical perspective. Narratives of six volunteer information providers were gathered using conversational interviews and analyzed using the method of thematic analysis. Six themes emerged from volunteers' narratives of their experience: independent/package tour travelers, visitors' expectations, information as product/process, foreign language skills, adaptability and accommodation, and public inebriation of homeless local residents. Contrary to expectations, volunteers reported that the experience of providing information for international visitors was very little different from providing information to visitors with cultural patterns of communication similar to their own. Several explanations are offered for the apparent absence of difficulties in providing information to international visitors. The surprising finding warrants further research.
    • Understanding the lived experience of racist hate speech on American university campuses

      Matusitz, Jonathan Andre (2001-12)
      This research employs narrative methodology in order to understand the lived experience of students who have experienced racist racist hate speech on American university campuses. Thematic analysis of in-depth, conversational interview capta (Kvale, 1996) was used to find commonalities in co-researchers' experiences. The literature review includes a contextual and historical section on racism, and a detailed, standard definition of racist hate speech. Emergent themes from these narrative interviews were found in regard to victims' experiences of racist hate speech on American university campuses. Those themes are discussed in the order of the co-researchers' experience: (1) indignation and anger, (2) stereotyping, (3) ethnic resentment, and (4) ethnic superiority. The co-researchers' experiences illustrate that racist hate speech is not only talk, but can be experienced through other communicative actions.
    • Voices from the third shift: advocate/caregiver perceptions of effective communication in medical encounters

      Babers-M., Terri (2003-09)
      A review of related literature, together with experiential understandings of the author, indicates that interpersonal communication in medical encounters is often triadic rather than dyadic in nature. The central interest of this research is to understand what commonalities of lived experience exist for women who act as advocate/caregivers communicating in medical encounters. The distinction of this study is that the focus is on the socially constructed, lived-experiences of the advocate/caregiver and her understandings of communication effectiveness in interpersonal communication in the medical encounter, rather than on the needs, responsibilities, and competencies of either the provider or the patient. A qualitative research design was used for this study. It consisted of two concept-rich, self-contained focus group conversation/interviews with female caregivers who are employed full, time and who serve in medical encounters as advocates for the family members for whom they care in the home. From an interpretive perspective, this study investigates the socially constructed perceptions, revealed in narratives told in focus group conversations, of advocate/caregivers about their communication experiences as advocates for a patient in medical encounters and what co-constructions of communicative reality they understand to be essential to their perceptions that communication has been effective.
    • We need to talk and the nation is watching: a textual analysis of drug interventions

      Denhalter, Bailey J.; Richey, Jean; Sager, Kevin; Taylor, Karen (2012-05)
      Addiction is something that millions of people struggle with. Many are unable to or do not realize that they have a problem. Previously kept as an embarrassing family secret, drug interventions have gone Hollywood. The entertainment industry began publicizing these once private affairs for the nation in the early 2000's; unfortunately, publicity does not ensure a problem will be addressed in the appropriate manner. Drug interventions are typically conducted in secret, away from the prying eyes of neighbors or community members. By a stroke of genius or insanity, the producers at A & E realized the American public's fascination with the dark underbelly of society and televised the taboo phenomenon of interventions. The purpose of this qualitative study is to identify emergent themes through the comparison and textual analysis of multiple episodes of A & E Television Networks series Intervention, focusing on family participation in illicit drug interventions. These televised interventions offer a rare and unique glimpse into the processes and consequences for those involved. The viewer is given the opportunity to observe the effects an intervention may have on the family unit, as well as on individuals.