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Advances in Communication Theory and Research

Editor’s Note (2010) – Megan Oliver
Communication works for those who work at it.- John Powell The Journal of Advances in Communication Theory and Research exemplifies Kansas State University's perpetual endeavor to produce high-quality research. Although the journal had to reduce the frequency from semi-annual to annual, like past editions of the journal, the Fall 2010 volume showcases originative works from a multitude of communication topics in an effort to celebrate undergraduate and graduate student research and encourage its efflorescence. This collection of articles covers a variety of topics, with age-relevant issues being dominant. As an undergraduate, I was unaware any of the channels for submitting the research I conducted. Arduous semesters of original, critical, and comparative research by thousands of students remains in the 'documents' section of hard drives the nation over. I am fortunate to be involved in ACTR during a time of rising popularity for online communication journals disseminating ideas and giving credence to the earnest works of students. Through submission, student authors discover the difficulty and importance of formulating a systematic method and seeing research through to analyses and implications. Submission and editing standards forACTR serve as a model to help students identify tone, format, and style of papers that can qualify for journals and conferences in their academic future. Though students may not yet be experts in their area of research and may not be submitting papers without flaw, they also feel encouraged by learning that a student can write a paper with merit within a semester.
Third Place Discourse- Alicia Carr
Abstract This study looked at the form discourse takes in an environment of commonplace rhetoric. Public discourse has transformed over recent years and we are now finding that the “public sphere” involves coffee shops. Coffee shops allow a chance to meet with friends and talk about issues that matter to individuals, whether the issues are personal or involve the community. These “third place environments” provide a location away from home and work for people to come together with whomever they choose, whenever they choose. Using Hicks and Langsdorf’s “Regulating Disagreement, Constituting Participants: A Critique of Proceduralist Theories of Democracy,” a narrated conversation by participants will be analyzed using their four criteria to discover whether an everyday coffee shop location, such as Starbucks, is producing discourse.
Gender and Personality: Differences in Date Initiation Preferences- Eric Shumaker
Palms sweaty, heart racing, body trembling, and butterflies in your stomach. What does this describe? Think back to the first time you asked out someone you liked. These uncomfortable symptoms may be reminiscent of your first experience with attempting to initiate a date. How could gender and personality factors play a role in the way heterosexual humans initiate dating behaviors with the opposite sex? What sort of unique interpersonal communication behaviors do people utilize in initiating a date? One of the top concerns of college students has always been interactions with the opposite sex and dating (Martinson & Zerface, 1990). A survey of college students by McEwan (1983), pressing personal concerns, indicated that 16% view the area of dating as the chief concern in their life over things such as grades and finances. Although this is not a large percentage, it is important to research interpersonal dating and find effective solutions for those struggling with dating-related anxiety. As sex roles and culture continually change, Muehlenhard and McFall (1981) proposed that men and women are often left confused on how to initiate and arrange first dates. Research in this area has the potential to assist social skills trainers, dating coaches, and counselors with how to give effective solutions to those clients struggling in this area of their lives. This research expansion will aid those that lack social skills known to assist in dating to help them better understand how they should approach someone they are attracted to.
Suspect Interrogation: Communication Strategies and Key Personality Constructs- Jessica Heuback
Abstract Interrogations are conducted by law enforcement officials in an effort to seek confessions and develop details about crimes. The goal of this study was to examine the communication strategies currently being used during the interrogation process as well as the key personality constructs that are integral to successful interrogation. A multi-method approach was used. Interviews with ten officers with interrogation experience were conducted in addition to collecting information via a web-based questionnaire (N=22). The findings suggest an overwhelming need to ?play nice? by beginning most interrogations with rapport building tactics. Additional strategies include the use of theme development, modeling interviews some ways but diverging in other necessary ways, and critical emphasis about on-the-job training with this specific job role. Results suggest a positive relationship between cognitive complexity and communication competence; verbal aggressiveness and cognitive complexity; and negative relationships between cognitive verbal aggressiveness and communication competence. Explanations for the findings and results are provided in addition to the mention of the study‘s limitations.
Reuniting Old Friends: The Sophists and Academic Debate- Joe Koehle
“On every issue there are two arguments opposed to each other” —Protagoras The above declaration from the sophist Protagoras that occurred over 2500 years ago may seem obvious to a person living in today?s world of endless difference of opinion and deliberation ad nauseum, but at the time was revolutionary in Athens. As the city moved from oligarchy to democracy, the necessity for deliberation arose as differences of opinion cropped up in the process of collective decision making. Seizing the opportunity to influence this process, the sophistic movement emerged. Itinerant teachers and wordsmiths, the sophists left their mark upon history via their innovative pedagogy and the seemingly unending controversies they created. After a brief period of flourishing, the sophists? rhetorical insights were undermined by sustained attacks from Plato and students of Plato, eventually being condemned to historical obscurity as a footnote to the progress of Western thought.
Three Simple Words: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Slogan “Yes We Can”- Molly McGuire
Three simple words can inspire a generation, unite a community, and change a nation. Three simple words can conjure up images of a multitude of movements. Three simple words can transcend cultural differences. These three simple words provided inspiration for the United Farm Workers movement, helped elect the first African American President of the United States of America, and permeated international politics. These three simple words are: “YES WE CAN!” The slogan “Yes We Can” became nationally recognized in the United State during Barack Obama?s 2008 campaign for president. The slogan did not originate when Barack Obama said it in his infamous “Yes We Can” speech, nor did its power and influence end on Election Day (November 4th 2008). The intercontinental recognition of this slogan and its different cultural significance is the reason why I choose to examine the slogan “Yes We Can”. I will focus on its importance in social movements, and its overlap among multiple social movements.
The Power of Metaphor in Presidential Healthcare Rhetoric- Natalie Pennington
Introduction For over seventy years the United States federal government has attempted to pass legislation for comprehensive health care, each time failing to reach a consensus on the creation of a health care system that would satisfy the demands of both Republicans and Democrats. First brought before the senate floor in 1933 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s Social Security legislation, comprehensive health care quickly dropped off and remained an unattainable goal for the American people, a campaign promise made by each president elect, but never fulfilled— until now. Legislation in both the House and Senate concerning universal health insurance coverage is closer to being signed into law than any legislation on the issue has ever been before. What then, has changed over time, to allow the opportunity for health care reform to become so close to reality?
Negotiating the Greek Feminist- Maurianna Shelbourn
The knowledge and societal construction of classic Greek writers has, arguably, been studied since the inception of these texts—with ample praise and criticism from scholars throughout history. As the foundations of Western democracy were lain and modern rational thought, Greek epics, essays, and dialogs established a place in classroom curricula so students and instructors alike [...]
Editor’s Note(2009)- Natalie Pennington
I'm a great believer that any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the kind of freedoms that they're interested in.- Bill Gates The past year at Kansas State University has seen as much innovation as the field of Communication Studies has as a whole in the past decade. Following a trend set by other universities, the Speech Communication, Theatre and Dance department is now known as the Communication Studies, Theatre and Dance department. This change in name has seen an influx of new ideas and bright faces to the department (from professors to students) that are well represented in the range of papers submitted and accepted for publication in Volume Two of the Journal of Advances in Communication Theory and Research. Each paper chosen for this issue shares a common understanding that the way in which we choose to communicate has changed drastically in the twenty-first century. Whether that be recruitment techniques by universities, creating a new identity on Second Life, or the work balance of today’s working mother, the contributors to this issue show that we must look at, comprehend, and evaluate communication patterns as they emerge. In these works we see all areas of study within the communication field well represented: interpersonal, organizational, rhetorical, qualitative, quantitative, and more. While technology is a main source of the change in communication patterns, the authors also draw on social changes in what is acceptable to interpret and advance theories and research in communication, showing that people can alter and improve their communication for a variety of reasons.
The Role of Kinesics in an Interview- Hailey Berry
ABSTRACT The purpose of this research assignment was to evaluate the role of kinesics in an interview and determine if nonverbal cues can affect the outcome of an interview. To further analyze this subject, five candidates were interviewed to explain their thoughts on whether or not they even consider nonverbal cues essential in an interview. To conclude, the finding showed that nonverbal cues, specifically kinesics, influence the outcome of an interview, but the amount of influence is greater among older individuals and less important in younger individuals. One quote that inspired me to research this topic came from the renowned writer and management consultant, Peter F. Drucker. He said, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.” By the end of college most students begin the strenuous process of interviewing. Of course, some students have the luxury of a job being given to them, but most are required to go out and interview for the jobs they desire. I have actually interviewed with approximately six companies and have sat through roughly fifteen interviews during my college career. I have often wondered if it was my answers that truly got me the offers, or if it had to do with some other factors. After seeing students do mock interviews I noticed that some people tended to fidget or avoid eye contact during the interview. This seemed distracting, but I began to wonder if I had done that during my interviews. This further made me consider if these nonverbal cues had any real impact on the outcome of an interview. Were interviewers purposefully trying to pick up on your nonverbal cues, or were they merely interested in what you had to say? This led me to my decision to focus my interview on the role of kinesics and what impact, if any, they have on the outcome of an interview. My paper will focus on what interviewers focus on during an interview and whether or not they are looking for any nonverbal cues, specifically kinesics. To take it a step further I will explore how the interviewers perceive certain nonverbal cues and the effect that places on the final outcome of the interview.