Collection Description

Collection of student theses and dissertations from as early as 1939, but mainly from 2010 to present.

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"So, you're a lean guy": Care provider, parent, and child communication about weight, diet, and physical activity
The dissertation study focuses on care provider, parent, and child (5-11 years-old) discussions of diet, physical activity, and weight during well-child visits. The project utilized conversation analysis of 39 audio recorded well-child visits (approximately 17 hours) in tangent with quantitative analysis of 39 post-visit parent-reported questionnaires. Quantitative analysis explored possible variables related to parent-reported overall satisfaction with the medical visit, as well as parent-reported satisfaction with care provider communication about weight, diet, and physical activity. Two-tailed Spearman’s Rank Order Correlations revealed a strong, positive correlation between child age and parent-reported satisfaction with the care provider communication, rho (30)=.51 p=.004. Kruskal-Wallace tests revealed a statistically significant difference in parent-reported satisfaction with care provider communication across the three different visits with care provider groups, χ 2 (2, n=33) =8.83, p=.012 as well as across the 5 categories of time with the care provider, χ2(4, n=33) =10.25,p=.037. Parent satisfaction with care provider communication followed a u-shaped curve for both visits with the care provider and time with the care provider. These findings were used to inform and structure the qualitative analysis. Qualitative analysis of the audio-recorded well-child visits were divided by child weight status. For normal weight patients, care providers applied weight-based labels (i.e., “slenderguy”), excluded children from discussions, and neglected to fully address physical activity. For overweight/obese patients, care providers avoided weight-based labels, engaged in abstraction when discussing weight, and almost exclusively focused on encouraging changes in diet and physical activity. For approaching/underweight patients, care providers readily applied labels of thinness without adequately accounting for possible stigma; nutrition mostly treated as non-problematic; and physical activity discussions were minimal and not tailored to underweight status. The results of the quantitative and qualitative analysis, taken together, elucidate several clinical recommendations for improving overall treatment of pediatric patients. These include avoiding stigmatizing weight-based labels and pejorative communication about diet and physical activity; considering a team-based strategy to fully address overweight/obese status; and more intentionally encouraging and tailoring physical activity for all weight groups.
"Take what you want and leave the rest": Alcoholics Anonymous and female empowerment
Includes bibliographical references (pages 79-82)., The literature that affirms the value of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for women is scarce. Feminist critics have largely argued AA is oppressive, male-dominated, and places women in yet another patriarchal institution. Yet one-third of AA's membership is comprised of women. Despite the feminist criticisms, women find healing, recovery, and empowerment within AA. Previous scholarship has almost entirely failed to account for the heuristic knowledge of women in AA and to value and honor their lived experience. Through in-depth interviews with ten diverse women, this qualitative study seeks to bring academic discourse around AA into conversation with the voices and experiences of women in AA. The goal of this study is not to refute prior feminist criticisms, but to question how women in AA navigate and negotiate the contradictions found within a male-dominated and male-centered program. I do not argue women in AA attempt to claim the title of feminist, but I do claim their recovery experiences are empowering and a generative site of feminist theory. Employing the use of grounded theory, the study found three themes. The first theme is AA as a program of paradox, whereby women navigate the paradoxical language of AA to generate healing. They dis-empower the self in order to empower it. The second theme is AA as a program of malleability in which women adapt and reappropriate the androcentric language to aid in their recovery. The final theme is community among women in AA. They employ various strategies, such as the creation of women-only spaces, to form female relations and bonds in order to foster healing and empowerment.
"That doesn't strike me as Filipino": Navigating names, cultural identity, and rhetorical onomastics
This project seeks to contribute to beginning conversations around the rhetorical implications of names and how individuals navigate their cultural identity via their names. Names were studied by ancient Greeks in the field of onomastics, and many scholars outside of rhetoric have studied the role of names in construction, development, and maintenance of one’s identity. Despite the inherent rhetorical nature of names, the field of rhetoric has yet to fully acknowledge and theorize names in rhetorical studies. Thus, this study invites rhetorical scholars to consider a rhetorical onomastics. I marshal seven name narratives from rhetors of immigrant families, racial minorities, and other historically marginalized groups and acknowledge the stories and embodied experiences that have been long overlooked as names were regarded as insignificant, benign labels. I draw from J. Logan Smilges’ continuum model of rhetorical silence and argue that engaging with rhetorical quieting and rhetorical amplifying is a constellating experience, inclusive many rhetorical situations, for individuals who must negotiate attention toward or away from their racial-cultural identity. While offering an analysis of name narratives, paying special mind to rhetorical ecologies and instances of rhetorical quieting and rhetorical amplifying, I also offer my own name narrative, which inspired this study., San Diego State University
"The mither tongue": The Scots language and its use in drama
Includes bibliographical references (p. 118-130), In order to understand a country's drama, one must understand the world of the play as well as that of the playwright. In the case of sixteenth-century Scotland and its two extant plays (Ane Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis and Philotus) in the native tongue of Scots, one must look at the political and economical history of the country at large and the local area, as well as the personal history of the playwright. When it comes to a play written in a native tongue, such as Scots, one must also examine that tongue and its development. This thesis traces the histories of Scotland and the Scots language, while analyzing native-written plays. The major focus is on the first two extant plays and how their creation shaped Scotland's drama, while also being shaped by Scotland's politics. These two plays are from the Royal Court of Scotland at the cusp of its departure to England. Had the Crowns of England and Scotland not united when they did, we might have had more extant plays. Had the Royal Scottish Court not respected Scots as its own language, we would have no plays. These plays mark both a beginning and an end to Scots plays and are therefore unique and important to the study of Scots literature as a whole.
"There Is no billboard for transfer": A cultural wealth perspective on memorable experiences prior to transfer for community college students of color
The experiences and voices of community college students continue to be underrepresented in communication scholarship. This study examines how community college students of color describe memorable experiences in the pre-transfer process, with transfer being studied as a communication process. More specifically, this study seeks to contribute to growing literature that challenges the deficit perspective of students of color. Utilizing community cultural wealth (CCW) as a theoretical framework, this study highlights the capital and wealth that community college students of color have and rely on when having conversations or making decisions regarding transfer. In order to further understand their experiences, 20 participants were interviewed, with 19 participants being included in the final analysis. After conducting a two-stage analysis, two themes emerged. The first theme highlights three salient experiences and circumstances related to the pre-transfer process, including: the influence of disadvantaged familial backgrounds, the first experiences of belonging in academic contexts, and negative experiences with academic advising. The second theme, as outlined by CCW, highlights the various forms of cultural wealth that emerged through memorable moments or experiences in the pre-transfer process, which consist of: aspirational capital (including aspiration to resist), familial capital, social capital, navigational capital, and experiential capital. This study reaffirms the need for more efficient advising systems and student-centered articulation agreements. In addition, this study calls for future research to focus on particular racial/ethnic and socioeconomic groups within the community college system. Keywords: Community College, Community Cultural Wealth, Student of Color, Transfer, Memorable Moments, San Diego State University
"There comes an end to all things": Writing death and identity in literature and television
This paper explores some of the many intersections of death and identity in literature and television. The works discussed in this paper, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the short-lived television series Dead Like Me, Joss Whedon's cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Neil Gaiman's award-winning novel The Graveyard Book, and Virginia Woolf's seminal work Mrs. Dalloway, all deal with these issues by utilizing supernatural overtones, or by blurring or dissolving boundaries between what is real and what is imagined in order to tell very real stories. Because these stories cannot exist independently of the real world, they are able successfully to connect their readers/viewers back to reality, thus it is precisely because they are imaginary in nature that they are so effective in dealing with real world issues such as death and the loss of identity. This paper also analyzes the effects of handwriting on identity in Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Dead Like Me. I suggest that in both of these texts it is handwriting that helps construct identities by creating a lasting, sometimes permanent record of the characters' actions. Death also plays a crucial role in Stevenson's novel and Dead Like Me as it is death that determines each character's role in society. Death assumes a symbolic role in Mrs. Dalloway and Buffy the Vampire Slayer as well. In these texts, death begets life and becomes the ultimate sacrifice, or gift, for those left behind. Subsequently, it is up to the survivors in each story to redefine themselves so that the gift they have been given, life, is not taken for granted. Finally, I look more closely at death and the identities that are born along the border of the living and the dead, this time in Dead Like Me, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Graveyard Book. Here I argue that the coexistence of the living and the dead in these texts establishes a unique environment for the creation of new identities. All of the works discussed in this paper explore some of the ways in which we deal with death and how its presence in our lives changes not only how we view the world, but also permanently alters how we see ourselves., San Diego State University
"We" the people: Decoding Lockean and Calvinist themes in American political nationalism
Two schools of thought have primarily dominated dialogue over the core ethos of American political nationalism. The on-going debate concerns whether the normative identity of American people is best explained by a “Lockean-consensus,” a “republican- synthesis,” or even a hybrid “multiple traditions” thesis. This has has been studied by arguing philosophy, observing cyclical trends of social and moral reformist movements, and analyzing policy output. These methodologies are insufficient, however, at deciphering the latent, implicit features of normative ideology. Using critical discursive analysis of core works in these schools of thought, this thesis develops an analytical typology code for ideological foundations of the normative categorical data sets useful to qualitative content analysis.
"We're like the unusual factor": Analyzing how gay adoptive fathers negotiate discourses of social challenge and develop family identities
The increasing visibility of gay adoptive families in US society remains controversial and has elicited scholarly conversations across disciplines in recent years. However, although previous research has focused on how gay males disclose difficulties in their adoption process and make sense of their father-gay identities, little of how they communicate and navigate the ups and downs of parenthood in their families after the transition has been explored. Hence, utilizing intersectionality as a theoretical lens, this qualitative research further unpacks how gay adoptive fathers experience social challenges throughout their parenthood journey and how they develop family identities with their child(ren). After analyzing 20 in-depth interviews, five major themes were interpreted to address two research questions. The first three themes unpack how, in everyday interactions, gay fathers experienced and/or negotiate heteronormative ideologies, homophobic experiences, and inadequate social modelling that erect barriers to their parenthood. The last two themes consider how reconstructing normalcy and embracing difference delineate how gay fathers strategically communicate adoption, gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity and class to build better family relationships. Ultimately, this study has yielded a deeper understanding of how the “gay adoptive family” as a concept is socially constructed, and offers insights on parenting practices overall. Keywords: gay father, gender, intersectionality, adoption, identity, family communication
"What did daddy do now?": An autoethnography of a daughter and her alcoholic father's dialectic tensions
Children of alcoholics (CoAs) face adversity in their life due to a parent’s alcoholism, which leads them to face issues with their self-esteem, performance in school, and parentification. Additionally, when CoAs grow up and become adult children of alcoholics (ACoAs), these issues follow them into adulthood and new issues arise as well. These issues can include struggles with resiliency, a low emotional IQ, and difficulties in their personal relationships. These issues in conjunction with a parent’s alcoholism can lead to an ACoA harboring resentment towards their alcoholic parent, which leads to dialectic tensions in the relationship. By using autoethnography as a method of inquiry, this study looks at the dialectic tensions that formed between an ACoA and her parent who is an alcoholic, and the relational maintenance strategies that are communicated in the relationship. This research concludes that there were seven dialectic tensions within the relationship, between the ACoA and their alcoholic parent. These dialectic tensions are; autonomy versus connection, openness versus closed-ness, judgement versus acceptance, commitment versus non- commitment, resentment versus longing, Instrumentality versus connection, and support versus non-support. Additionally, this study concludes that while relational maintenance strategies of separation, selection, and temporal separation were communicated, they were not communicated effectively for the well-being of the relationship. Keywords: children of alcoholics, adult children of alcoholics, parental alcoholism, destructive communication patterns, impacts of parental alcoholism
"When God gives you AIDS...make lemon-AIDS": Ironic persona and perspective by incongruity in Sarah Silverman's Jesus is Magic
Sarah Silverman created a name for herself as a comedian with the release of the 2005 standup comedy movie Jesus is Magic. However, considering Silverman's propensity to discuss taboo and potentially offensive topics such as race, 9/11, and AIDS, she has emerged as one of the most polarizing and controversial comedians performing today. Silverman has developed an onstage ironic persona of ignorance and innocence that juxtaposes with her controversial, humorous content to highlight a unique manifestation of Burke's concept of perspective by incongruity. Throughout her ironic performance, Silverman utilizes satirical white privilege, mock post-feminism, and ironic trivialization of serious events as a means of highlighting questionable social behavior and attitudes. Her use of various comedic styles informs her subversiveness, and ultimately, she creates significance through the comic minimization of social events and issues. An analysis of specific aspects of her standup comedy performance demonstrates her use of comic minimization as a powerful rhetorical method.
"When I'm good, I'm very good. When I'm bad, I'm better": The relationship between rom-com consumption and relational quality and infidelity beliefs
A big part of the entertainment industry are films, which have been enjoyable entertainment for audiences for decades. More specifically, romantic comedies have been around for nearly 90 years and are a successful genre for the movie industry, bringing almost $10 billion in the past 12 years. It is widely known romantic comedy films give its audiences unrealistic expectations about love and relationships, which can be a contributing factor to dysfunctional relationships in the future. Idealization of a partner is an example of what romantic comedies display as an unrealistic expectation, which can overemphasize the good qualities and neglect the flaws and imperfections that are present. In the most recently explored study on romantic comedies (rom-com), three factors were shown to be of significance in regard to rom-com consumption: romantic idealism, romantic cynicism, and romantic preference. Along with the three constructs, this study investigated how rom-com consumption is related to the thematically-relevant constructs of relationship satisfaction, commitment, and infidelity. Keywords: rom-com, romantic idealism, romantic cynicism, infidelity, San Diego State University