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  • ItemOpen Access
    Beautiful transgressions: subversion and visibility in YouTube's beauty community
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Marshall-McKelvey, Kira, author; Elkins, Evan, advisor; Hughes, Kit, committee member; Anderson, Karrin, committee member; Arthur, Tori, committee member
    YouTube influencers must navigate the platform's capricious algorithm in order to achieve and maintain visibility online. The attention economy necessitates visibility labor for YouTubers to succeed in digital content creation. In particular, YouTubers must consider advertiser guidelines so that their content gets monetized (and subsequently rendered more visible). Content on YouTube that achieves high visibility tends to reinforce hegemonic logics of self-branding and gender. The beauty community, which produces feminized cultural outputs, is a highly commercial space on YouTube that rewards capitalist-affirming logics of gender and women's empowerment. Working in conversation with scholarship that explores the resistive possibilities of "LeftTube" (leftist YouTube), I highlight subversive tactics that women beauty gurus use without sacrificing their visibility online. Threading in discourse of play and fun, I argue that women beauty gurus can subvert postfeminist, neoliberal norms that discipline and confine gender performance. I first identify the normative genre conventions of the contemporary YouTube beauty community. Then I argue that RawBeautyKristi challenges norms of new momism and the "always on" digital entrepreneur by performing negative affect as a symptom of alienation, decentering western and masculine temporal structures, and complicating aesthetic labor in relation to neoliberal motherhood. Next, I argue that Nappyheadedjojoba performs platform-specific-intimacy to activate an ostensibly apolitical audience. Specifically, on YouTube, her incongruous references to makeup relieve tension, she utilizes beauty-specific terminology to familiarize her politics, she engages respectability politics, and she incorporates self-promotion as relational labor. On Patreon, she positions audience support as promoting creative liberty, she employs self-disclosure in relation to her politics, and she engages ratchetry as resistance. These strategies cultivate a sort of political authenticity. Lastly, Jenna Marbles's playful performance of failure to be part of YouTube's beauty community lluminates the inaccessibility of a seemingly open, democratizing space. By positioning herself as a YouTube viewer who unsuccessfully attempts tutorials, framing excess in contrast to the quest for natural beauty, exaggerating her status as an aging 32-33 year old lady, and flouting YouTube's self-branding conventions, Mourey reveals an attention economy in the beauty community that privileges postfeminist norms of age, beauty, and femininity. Ultimately, my dissertation aims to provide those in precarious positions with tactics to challenge dominant structures in ways that are invisible to those in power.
  • ItemOpen Access
    When work is worship: studying identification and faith in church workers
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Neal, Autumn (Buzzetta), author; Williams, Elizabeth, advisor; Faw, Meara, committee member; Dik, Bryan, committee member
    This thesis assesses the relationship between faith, organizational identification (OI), spiritual labor, and burnout in ex-church workers. The impetus for my study came from media (Cosper, 2021; Barr, 2021; Du Mez, 2021) and research (Chappell et al., 2022; Garner & Peterson, 2018; McNamee, 2011) that critically addresses destructive practices in church work. Using a qualitative, phenomenological methodology, I conducted thirteen semi-structured interviews of those who have left their positions in the church. I analyzed the data using Tracy's (2020) phronetic-iterative coding approach and Saldaña's (2021) coding recommendations. My findings revealed five key themes: identities in tension, faith as expectation, forced separation, balancing authenticity, and learned solutions. Ultimately, I contribute to research on organizational identification by problematizing enmeshment and over-identification. I conceptualize the faithful face as a balance of authenticity and boundaries in church work. Additionally, I offer contributions to discourses of spiritual labor and implications for studying faith-based organizations. Finally, I address practical implications, limitations, and future directions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Black like it never left: Black women and representation in contemporary broadcast television
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Taylor, Kirstin, author; Marx, Nick, advisor; Chung, Hye Seung, committee member; Arthur, Tori, committee member
    It is imperative that we recognize that broadcast television is not dead, despite echoing declarations to the contrary, and that it can be a viable platform for presenting Black-led programs telling complex stories. In this project, I argue that current broadcast television shows are harnessing their industrial position and staple generic conventions to reorient depictions of Blackness on broadcast to more complexly and resonantly reflect lived Black experiences. It seems that these stories are being told not just on niche or fringe platforms catering to Black audiences, but also on long established and popular broadcast channels. This project is a limited survey of Black female representation on broadcast television comprised of three case studies: Fox's emergency procedural 9-1-1, The CW's HBCU set drama All American: Homecoming, and ABC's sitcom Abbott Elementary. Guiding this survey is a set of critical questions: First, how do these cases represent Black womanhood? Second, what are the industrial and creative contexts of these cases and how do they influence the texts? How do their creators, showrunners, writers, and actors work within the broadcast parameters and appropriate traditional conventions to display different iterations of Blackness? Finally, what new cultural meanings, if any, are the resulting representations generating?
  • ItemOpen Access
    Workplace transitions: the role of social media and boundary management
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Hecht, Emeline, author; Williams, Elizabeth, advisor; Faw, Meara, committee member; Long, Ziyu, committee member; Humphrey, Michael, committee member
    Previous literature has examined the workplace transition and its implications for the organization and its members. However, minimal studies have been conducted on how social media may influence the increasingly common occurrence of workplace transitions. This study explores the boundaries that individuals create and negotiate when using social media in the process of organizational transitions. Through twenty-five interviews with individuals who recently changed workplaces, this project highlights experiences of social media boundary management practices as participants navigated their assimilation to and from workplaces. This research project asked what strategies of boundary management employees utilize on social media across multiple assimilation phases. Eight boundary management strategies emerged from the data. The findings of this study expand knowledge of the assimilation process during a job transition and how privacy is managed during the multiple phases, providing insight into the implications of rule violations on organizational membership and the way that privacy rules are communicated between organizational members.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Representation and legitimation in streaming television's teenage girl traumedies
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Barnes-Nelson, Madison, author; Marx, Nick, advisor; Elkins, Evan, committee member; Wolfgang, David, committee member
    My objects of study for this project are three streaming television series: Hulu's Pen15 (2019-2021), HBO Max's The Sex Lives of College Girls (2021-), and Channel 4/Netflix's Derry Girls (2018-2022). These series comprise a hybrid television genre I term "teenage girl traumedy." I argue that teenage girl traumedies lend teenage girl characters empathy and emotional complexity not historically afforded to them on television. Using these three series as case studies, I argue that the genre is legitimized culturally and industrially in two ways: 1) through textual appeals in narrative and visual form to feminist discourse and 2) paratextual branding in trade press and interviews with creators that centralize these series' feminist messages of teenage girls' trauma as a distinctive, competitive quality in streaming television. My three case studies depict emotional and bodily traumas on different levels, from the intimate and individualized, interpersonal and institutional, to the national. I show trauma growing and spreading as my thesis develops, as a way to show how teenage girl trauma manifests as personal shame and how the coping process for teenage girls bumps up against interpersonal, institutional, and national spheres. Industrially, my thesis explores the tension between creators who produce subversive, feminist art and the commercially driven streaming services that employ them. I am interested in understanding how these creators write television that delves into themes of young women's sexual and psychological trauma, developing out of previous decades of television that portrayed teenage girls as one-dimensional.
  • ItemOpen Access
    "The end of Roe means the end of bodily autonomy": reproductive technologies and temporal framing of women's agency post-Dobbs
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Hasberger, Hayley, author; Dunn, Tom, advisor; Gibson, Katie, committee member; Martey, Rosa Mikeal, committee member
    On June 24th, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization and overturned Roe v. Wade, an almost half century old landmark decision in support of women's reproductive rights. My analysis responds to the exigence of the current technological and post-Dobbs moment, to highlight the discursive implications of a nationwide reproductive technology decision. This thesis examines Jezebel's media framing of reproductive technologies, arguing that women-centric discourses of reproductive technologies post-Dobbs center temporality as a major theme in two distinct ways: 1) by demonstrating the realness of the present moment and 2) pointing to dystopic visions of America's coming future. I contend that these two parallel themes in the discourse frame differing paths towards women's agency, which can have a meaningful impact on the material actions women take in reality. As the overturning of Roe v. Wade continues to unfold, it will be paramount to continue to research and explore communication outcomes associated with the relationship between reproductive technologies and women's bodily autonomy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reimagining cultural representation of Latinidad on the U.S. screen: this bridge called Disney
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Dosch, Emily, author; Khrebtan-Hoerhager, Julia, advisor; Diffrient, D. Scott, committee member; Pedrós-Gascón, Antonio, committee member
    As one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, Disney functions as a cultural institution in its projections of mediated cultural content. Each second of their animated films operates to mold the corporation's chosen agenda. Given the salience of Disney films as creational and conformist cultural objects, I conduct a critical cultural analysis of two animation pieces, Coco (2017) and Encanto (2021). For this thesis project, I am particularly interested in the politics of representation of Latinx characters and cultures, as essential for children's understanding of the peoples and world around them. Each film, though delivered in different contexts at different times, includes common themes of the importance of family and change/migration to a new destination/generation. At the same time, the films displayed mixed successes with their interpretation, construction, and representation of Mexicanidad and Colombianiadad on the U.S. screen. These depictions were reflective and co-constructive (I argue) of the respective Mexican-American and Colombian-American interculturalities. Through such comparative critical cultural and film analysis, I hope to contribute to the existing and emerging scholarship on the representation and (mis)representation of Latinx population in Disney animated films, and in the cultural industry at large.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dancing in the desert: electronic dance music festivals, carnivalesque rhetorics of disorientation, and performative participant observation
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Herring, Kristen D., author; Vasby Anderson, Karrin, advisor; Gibson, Katie, committee member; Aoki, Eric, committee member; Pippen, John, committee member
    Electronic dance music (EDM) creates communities whose members negotiate and renegotiate the politics of public performances of identity. In this dissertation, I ask "How do EDM festivals function as temporary communities that rhetorically construct the performance of gender and sexuality?" I argue that EDM uses a rhetorical strategy I call disorientation. I detail the ways disorientation helps EDM festival attendees, known as "ravers" or "festies," inhabit liminal spaces and transgress the patriarchal, heteronormative, white supremacist, and capitalist expressions of gender and sexuality that are dominant in the outside world via rhetorics of the carnivalesque. I also develop an approach to rhetorical field methods I call Performative Participant Observation. I demonstrate Performative Participant Observation in this dissertation and argue that similar methods would be useful for scholars interested in studying ephemeral and public performances of gender and sexuality as well as performances of the carnival.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Overworked and underpaid: Hollywood gatekeeping in assistant labor and discourse
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Bennett, Kiah E., author; Marx, Nick, advisor; Black, Ray, committee member; Faw, Meara, committee member; Hughes, Kit, committee member
    Ubiquitous, yet unseen, exploited assistants' unseen labor hems the fabric of Hollywood and entertainment industries. In this dissertation, I interrogate the unseen cultural discourses of Hollywood that obfuscate the exploitation of the overworked, underpaid underclass of future creatives and executives: assistants. I argue that the position of an "assistant" – as an entry-level position for Hollywood executive and creative professions – materially, discursively, and socially acts as a gatekeeping mechanism against workers based on class, ability, race, and gender. Meanwhile, Hollywood production and hiring practices must adapt to contemporary demands for accurate representation of diverse positions on-screen and behind-the-scenes diversity. However, Hollywood is inherently white, masculine, middle-to-upper class, and able-bodyminded in its expectations and values. Therefore, I demonstrate how Hollywood uses the position of assistantship to appear diverse, meanwhile the material and cultural conditions of this position gatekeep difference out of Hollywood's creative and executive decision-making roles.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Theorizing commensality discourses: food truck communication and influence in local culture
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Combs, Mitch, author; Aoki, Eric, advisor; Khrebtan-Hörhager, Julia, committee member; Elkins, Evan, committee member; Carolan, Michael, committee member
    Food trucks offer spaces of commensality where people negotiate cultural identity and senses of place though practices, tastes, and performances communicated through enactments of food sharing. In this dissertation, I theorize commensality as a rhetorical texture of subcultural ideology, a rhetorical texture of resistance to cultural gentrification, and as a digital process of online community building. I use rhetorical criticism and ethnographic methods of participant observation to analyze physical spaces of food truck commensality in Fort Collins, Colorado: The FOCO Food Truck Rally and North College Avenue. Additionally, I conduct a media discourse analysis of the Fort Collins food truck Instagram community. Overall, I argue that commensality operates as a subcultural ideology resistant and reifying of gourmet elitism, a rhetoric of difference resistant to cultural gentrification, and a process digital commensality building community through social mediated branding, networking, and audiencing.
  • ItemOpen Access
    "One nation under God?": a call for secular rhetorical criticism
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Lee, Kristina M., author; Dunn, Thomas R., advisor; Vasby Anderson, Karrin, committee member; Gibson, Katie, committee member; Cloud, Doug, committee member
    This dissertation explores the need for secular rhetorical criticism, an approach to rhetorical scholarship that centers questions of power, privilege, and marginalization in relation to ir/religious pluralism. I contend that such an interconnected rhetorical approach to studying religion would be beneficial in creating a more cohesive conversation within rhetorical scholarship on the relationship of religious pluralism and power. Secular rhetorical criticism is fundamentally concerned with the lives, experiences, and voices of the ir/religiously marginalized and recognizes religious nationalism as part of a hegemonic system that privileges religious homogeneity and inhibits religious pluralism. In four chapters, I demonstrate the utility of engaging in secular rhetorical criticism by offering different approaches to analyzing the implementation of the phrase "under God" into the U.S. pledge of allegiance in 1954. While the phrase "under God" in the pledge is largely framed as example unifying "American civil religion" or benign "ceremonial deism," I argue that in 1954 the pledge was transformed into a theistnormative ritual that promoted a Christian nationalist political imaginary while containing Atheists and secularism. In chapter one, I draw on secular rhetorical criticism to urge scholars to be self-reflective of how their own scholarly language and practices maintain religious hegemonies. Specifically, I point to how "under God" as "civil religion" perpetuates the Myth of Religious Tolerance and I offer the conception of theistnormativity as a more critical descriptor for the fusion of belief in God and national identity. In the next chapter, I urge scholars to utilize secular rhetorical criticism as a lens for considering who is contained and negated by theistnormative texts. By analyzing advocates' justification of the new pledge, I demonstrate how religious and political leaders utilized the rhetorical strategy of prophetic dualism to frame the new pledge as a way to contain Atheists and Secularism. In chapter three, I reflect on how scholars engaging in secular rhetorical criticism need to utilize non-traditional methods to analyze the voices of the ir/religiously marginalized. I demonstrate how the gossip method can be used to speculate about how evidence from archived letters and newspapers suggests political leaders knowingly mischaracterized who supported and opposed the change to the pledge. Finally, I urge scholars to utilize secular rhetorical criticism to disrupt the assumption that the contemporary tensions between secularists and Christian nationalists emerged in the 1960s-1970s. By analyzing the political vocabularies of those writing to President Eisenhower and Congress in response to the new pledge in 1954, I demonstrate how supporters viewed the change as a confirmation of a Christian nationalist political imaginary while those who opposed it saw the new pledge as a threat to democracy from the perspective of a secular political imaginary. Using secular rhetorical criticism to guide my analysis of each chapter, I argue that in 1954 the pledge was transformed into a theistnormative ritual that advanced a Christian nationalist political imaginary while containing Atheists and secularism as part of a larger spiritual-industrial complex. This dissertation looks to the history of the 1950s to reflect on how, in 2022, Christian nationalists are establishing a new spiritual-industrial complex. Rhetorical scholars need an approach to studying rhetoric that will challenge and disrupt this undemocratic movement that undermines the values of religious freedom, tolerance, and equality.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Reckoning with identity: the changing dynamics of television representations in the American South
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Scroggins, Emily, author; Diffrient, David Scott, advisor; Burgchardt, Carl, committee member; Gudmestad, Robert, committee member
    The American South is a continually understudied and misrepresented region of the United States. Televisual representations of the region typically rely on the Southern Imaginary, a collection of predetermined stereotypes and ideas about the South, to inform their depictions of Southerners and their identities. These representations tend to be one-dimensional and inauthentic to those who have and continued to live in the region. Recently, media depictions of the American South are attempting to challenge the Southern Imaginary and present a more nuanced and legitimate representation of Southerners. This project investigates how the nuanced representations of race, gender, and sexuality coupled with the settings of Hart of Dixie (CW, 2011-2015), One Mississippi (Amazon, 2015-2017), and Atlanta (FX, 2016-present) work to influence audiences' perceptions of the Southern region of the United States. Ultimately, I address the question: in what ways are modern television depictions of the South fighting against the Southern Imaginary and how does this influence the audiences' understanding of the South as both an actual regional space and a discursive construct? Investigation into the attempts to alter the Southern Imaginary can shed light on the falsities that television depictions of the region utilize to ensure that the South remains a social and political scapegoat for problems of the entire nation thus stagnating progress for all.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Choosing love: performances of romance in mobile dating simulation games
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Martinez, El, author; Elkins, Evan, advisor; Diffrient, Scott, committee member; Martey, Rosa, committee member
    With the launch of the Android app store in 2008, mobile gaming has occupied a surging niche in the video game market. While considerable scholarly attention has been paid to video games, with mobile games enjoying a portion of that attention, the study of dating simulation games is still emerging. Further, almost all existing scholarship on dating simulation games focuses on console- or computer-based games. This thesis aims to fill that gap by analyzing how dating simulation conventions translate onto mobile devices. What changes when a new platform, with its own conventions and affordances, is introduced? Through textual analysis of gameplay mechanics, visual style, and narrative, I examine how popular mobile dating simulation games offered through the Android app store construct and restrict player access to romance on the axes of time and money. Ultimately, I argue that the ways time and money flow on the mobile device afford unique performances of romance while foreclosing others, apart from their progenitors on consoles and PCs.
  • ItemOpen Access
    "I am not a bad friend for having boundaries": exploring the need for and creation of support boundaries in friendships
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Johnson, Kylie J., author; Faw, Meara, advisor; Parks, Elizabeth, committee member; Quirk, Kelley, committee member
    Although research effectively depicts the benefits of social support and support recipient experiences, less scholarship explores discrepancies and challenges in supportive communication. This research study investigates support provider experiences and offers new insight for challenges that might arise in supportive contexts. Two primary goals motivated this research: understanding what conditions influence providers' need for support boundaries and what communicative strategies are utilized to create them. Qualitative research methods were utilized, and 22 semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted. Analysis of 865 pages of texts illustrates how various conditions, both personal and relational, drove providers to need support boundaries. Participants described four primary themes to explain their need for support boundaries: ineffective involvement, relational transgressions, protecting the self, and network negotiations. Various sub-themes were identified, and all participants detailed numerous conditions that contributed to their need for support boundaries. Participants utilized three central strategies to enact support boundaries with their friends: direct communication, indirect communication, and collaborative communication. The findings depict existing discrepancies between support provider and recipient needs, and that boundary creation, when enacted skillfully, is an effective way to protect themselves and the relationship. Ultimately, this exploratory study emphasizes the importance of support boundaries and positions boundary creation in supportive contexts as an enriched area for further investigation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Listening to difference: the construction of intersectional identity in VALORANT's sound design
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Adams, Tate, author; Parks, Elizabeth S., advisor; Johnson Schroeder, Morgan K., committee member; Elkins, Evan, committee member; Martey, Rosa Mikeal, committee member
    As sound studies begins to interface more prominently with communication studies, the majority of research concerns rhetorical implications of vocality and sound's potential for argumentation and advocacy. This thesis contributes towards a growing body of research that identifies sound's influence in shaping our understandings of intersectional identity by providing several examples of how analyzing mediated sound design can uncover latent discourses of cultural difference. By combining communication studies, game studies, and sound studies it begins to establish a lexicon for discussing otherwise ineffable forms of representation in immersive and interactive media. This thesis sets out to answer two main research questions (RQs). RQ1 questions "How is player identity constructed in VALORANT through its voice communication affordances?" while RQ2 interrogates "How is intersectional identity communicated through VALORANT's sound design?" The three content chapters work in tandem to answer these research questions, and then reflect on what those answers mean for VALORANT players and audiences, scholars of games and sound, and the field of communication. This research is useful to VALORANT's player base and the widespread audience it commands insofar as it calls to the forefront the discourses of cultural difference which undergird the game's virtual acoustic design and sound affordances. Understanding that scholars of media, cultural studies, and communication overlap with gaming audiences, I am also optimistic that this thesis will inspire further work around sound design's potential for communicating discourses of cultural difference. For game studies scholars, this work encourages a dedicated practice of listening to and for discourse of cultural difference in games. Sound is an often-underserved element of games in critical scholarship, and (responding to RQ2) this thesis demonstrates how much hidden meaning is embedded in the subtle details of developer's sound design choices. This study contributes to game studies scholarship by excavating the potential of virtual acoustic to represent cultural difference. Specifically, Chapters 2 and 3 demonstrate how virtual acoustic design is used to immerse players and characters within a particular diegetic context (space, place, time) in digital environments. Further, Chapter 3 also brings into focus the politics and economics of representation entailed in cosmetic accessorizing in online gaming. For scholars of sound, this thesis exemplifies the importance of developing critical tools for understanding how audio cues are used in mediated sound design to communicate notions of intersectional identity. As a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field, sound studies scholars could contribute a great deal of knowledge towards the different ways in which representations are codified in industrial practices. When communication studies turns its attention toward mediated sound design it is especially well-oriented to understand and critique the influence of virtual acoustic design on our conception of social reality. This study emphasizes the possibilities for rhetorical scholarship to critically assess forms of representation that are otherwise quite difficult to put words to. This thesis also exemplifies the potential of adopting vibration as a central organizing metaphor for communication theory. An acoustic approach to orientation in Chapter 2 conceptualizes sound design as innately rhetorical, and often strategic. A vibrational reading of stereotype in Chapter 3 which emphasizes the ephemeral, dynamic, and immersive nature of representation. A resonant approach to access and advocacy in Chapter 1 uses the metaphor of apprehending vibration to highlight the importance of feeling heard in relation to representation, safety, and community.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A listening theory story: an analysis of key themes, traditions, and actors in a community of practice of international listening theory scholars, 1987-2021
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Shanks, Brandon, author; Parks, Elizabeth S., advisor; Williams, Elizabeth, committee member; Humphrey, Michael, committee member
    In any field of research, specific theory drives discovery, inquiry, and production of knowledge. Looking at the field of listening research, listening theory can be seen to impact how scholars view results of their studies. Additionally, listening theory is summarized to be an unorganized and undefined field of listening research. To begin to remedy this disorganization, I aim to create both a broad outline of listening theory as well as a spark to ignite dialogue and discourse surrounding listening theory. To accomplish the goal of creating broad understanding of listening theory, I use a tried and true method of conveying information that has been used for centuries, I tell a story. Predominantly, I tell a story of listening theory located in the International Journal of Listening (IJL). This story is made up of genres (metatheoretical traditions), tropes (themes and topics), and main characters (authors). To understand these three aspects, I utilize a mixed method approach of both a qualitative thematic analysis and a descriptive quantitative semantic analysis to analyze a corpus of 42 IJL articles published from 1987-2021 related to listening theory. Finally, I use the story that is woven from the results as a jumping off point for future research and scholars to join the production and discussion of listening theory. In my thesis I conceptualize IJL as a community of practice, or a group of people that all pursue a similar goal. This goal is to create knowledge, discussion, and practical application of listening research. Each aspect of the story will indicate how the community of practice advances research. It will also reveal potentially where specific traditions might be more prominent than others. These traditions that I analyze come from the widely cited work of Craig (1999) who provides a metamodel for both understanding how different approaches to theory support and contradict each other. The primary goal of his metamodel is to create discourse surrounding the practices and methods of research surrounding communication theory. I adopt this metamodel to serve both those functions in my analysis of listening theory in the community of practice of IJL. I use the metamodel to describe which traditions are present within listening theory work, but also to serve as an encouragement for future research and continuation of discourse. To uncover themes in the story of listening theory, I utilize a semantic analysis as utilized by Arasaratnam and Doerfel (2005). Using the textual analysis software Wordstat conducts a frequency, cooccurrence, and topical analysis of all text in the 42 articles. This reveals themes surrounding the development of listening theory and research within the community of practice. Lastly, in combination of the two methods I draw out key moments and actors to indicate where scholars have perpetuated listening theory and the discourse surrounding its development. Understanding all these story elements (traditions, themes, actors) I construct a review of how listening theory has been established in IJL. Then, to fulfill the goals of creating a story of listening theory and continuation of the conversation, I tell a story of listening theory from 1987-2021 in the community of practice of IJL: in my own words.
  • ItemOpen Access
    "For the love of all that is queer and holy": exploring the experiences and identity tensions of LGBTQ individuals within Christianity
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Young, Jade M., author; Williams, Elizabeth A., advisor; Parks, Elizabeth, committee member; Ogle, Jennifer, committee member
    Historical tensions exist between Christian and LGBTQ communities and LGBTQ people are marginalized within Christianity. The purpose for studying the experiences of LGBTQ people within Christianity is to explicate how this religion both benefits LGBTQ people's wellbeing and causes them harm, and to offer solutions for increasing their inclusion at personal and congregational levels. Christianity is a dominant U.S. religion and many of its practices are founded by cisgender, heterosexual White men, and the LGBTQ community is socially marginalized. This study uses Dominant Group Theory and Social Identity Theory with emergent themes to investigate how Christians as a dominant group reinforce, impede, or dismantle LGBTQ discrimination and reveals that LGBTQ Christians embody two historically conflicting populations. Fourteen in-depth interviews were conducted with participants across the U.S. Findings revealed dynamic connections between participants' Christian faith, their LGBTQ identity, and their other social identities. Participants testified leveraging their knowledge of and experiences within Christianity to enact dominant group strategies to advocate for themselves and other LGBTQ people within Christian contexts. There are unique challenges and opportunities in studying how individuals can glean from dominant and nondominant social identities simultaneously to address ingroup–outgroup tensions. This study revealed more avenues to be explored within this context, using these theories, and additional theories.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Productive self-advocacy: how Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar communicate Black sovereignty
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Sanon, Clarence, author; Marks, Nick, advisor; Chung, Hye Seung, committee member; Pippen, John, committee member
    Hip-hop culture has been commodified and sold internationally, but it has always been intertwined, intentionally or otherwise, with social change. This thesis seeks to complicate and reimagine the contemporary hip-hop moment. In contrast to scholarship that interrogates and investigates the 1990 and 2000 hip-hop landscape, this thesis moves to the contemporary; particularly, examining the possibility that Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar used their stardom to advocate messages of, what I call, productive self-advocacy. This new term seeks to articulate a shift in advocacy in artists and activists from singular individual civil rights leaders to many individual activists who collectively work together to solve their community's challenges. Productive self-advocacy moves from asking for a seat at the proverbial table to demanding that the Black community create its own. These artists deploy rhetorical strategies to encode messages that advocate for self-dependency and a departure from traditional appeals to the law as well as government agencies. Through this thesis, I hope to expand research on hip-hop and social movements to explore the new era of advocacy from artists and the public.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Leadership, resilience, and sensemaking at Colorado State University during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Letteney, Juliet SooGin, author; Williams, Elizabeth, advisor; Burgchardt, Carl, committee member; Anderson, Ashley, committee member
    This study examines the crisis communication qualities of crisis leadership, communicative resilience, and enacted sensemaking in the case of Colorado State University's response to COVID-19 in the spring of 2020. The focus for university response is based in correspondence emailed from University President McConnell to the students. As groundwork for the study, I review crisis communication literature in general and focused studies in crisis leadership, Buzzanell's theory of constructed resilience, and Weick's enacted sensemaking. This foundation of literature informs a mixed method study comprising of a textual analysis of McConnell's correspondence and interviews with students enrolled at the time of the crisis. This methodology was used with the intention of addressing four research questions. RQ1: In what ways did President McConnell exhibit a leadership mindset in her response to the COVID-19 pandemic?, RQ2: In what ways did President McConnell's messages help construct a sense of resilience for CSU students?, RQ3A: In what ways did students make sense of the COVID-19 health crisis in the context of their student lives?, and RQ3B: What role did messages from President McConnell play in their sensemaking? These questions led to a wealth of insights about McConnell's communication in response to the pandemic and moving to virtual learning Spring 2020. Three major takeaways discussed are that the leadership role is particularly delicate in crisis situations, the practice of normalizing challenges in crisis should be paired with adjusting expectations, and that the reflex to strive for a business-as-usual approach should be cautiously balanced with an acceptance of the new normal a crisis requires.
  • ItemOpen Access
    . . . [elipsis]
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Ernest, Alicia C., author; Broadfoot, Kirsten, advisor; Diffrient, Scott, advisor; Ishiwata, Eric, committee member
    The ellipsis performs various functions in U.S. culture. It euphemizes, it transgresses, it represents an omission of text, and it occupies a space between words and yet has meaning. For these reasons, the ellipsis is an appropriate icon to organize the chapters of this text. This thesis proposes that the speaking subject is always already in a position that is simultaneously defined and transgressed by language and analyzes the subsequent linguistic performances enacted to negotiate with that position. The borders that form individual and national identity perceptions are imagined and yet, consequential. All speaking subjects exist in a space of discontinuity and must forever negotiate the irreducible gap between meaning and language, and subsequently, a temporal experience of identity. This thesis proposes that this condition of language renders the speaking subject a linguistic audience as abject. In an effort to negotiate this unbearable abjection, the speaking subject continuously participates in identity boundary performances in order to delineate spaces of self and other and spaces of identification, as well as to experience meaning. This delineation process in itself is neutral, but must be analyzed for its effect in practice. The effects of these performances become highly consequential in the complicated and highly contested spaces of national identity. In these spaces, the illusive boundary between self and other is exaggerated with simultaneous attempts to assimilate difference within. It is the task of this thesis to engage poststructural and psychoanalytic theories with texts that inform and delineate the frames of U.S. national identity and Native American identity. This thesis will primarily take up and build upon Kristiva’s abjection, Baudrillard’s conceptions of the virtual positive, and a Barthesian and Derridian influenced notion of authority. These theories are then engaged in an analysis of texts that inform Native American realities. The purpose for this engagement will be to challenge the reader to realize her/his own authority in the texts that inform her/his own identity and the identity of the self-created other. The aim is to position the subject in a space of conscious participation in responsible meaning making. The analysis will focus on the texts, “Native” and “House Bill 10-1067,” relying on these texts’ intertextual references to complicate seemingly harmless recent associations. These texts are relevant to this study because they continue to inform past and present conceptions of the United States as a nation-state and in turn continue to frame the material realities for Native communities. Overall, this thesis unpacks the notion that all speaking subjects are participating players on the stage of a large-scale identity boundary performance. In framing the subject’s position in this elliptical space, there is a suggestion for subjects to consider their lines in this performance, for their consequences and potential, in the forever negotiation of difference/self-reference, mise-en-abime.