Towson University Graduate Theses and Dissertations

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 473
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    Audience engagement changing media's mistrusted view of intimate partner violence
    (2023-08-11) Weller, Keri R.; Guha, Pallavi; Towson University. Department of Mass Communication; Towson University. Communication Management Program
    Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a public health crisis in society. The investigation of Gabby Petito (a missing blogger case) along with her finance Brian Laundrie in September 2021 spotlighted their relationships by the masses online and off in the media. This study provided an analysis of the Gabby Petito case on how the media framed IPV online and what was the role of the intersectionality of class. This study was a descriptive quantitative and qualitative method, particularly a thematic analysis. Online newspaper articles from USA TODAY, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal from September 11, 2021, and January 21, 2022, were examined about the missing subject and the media context along with a review of Gabby Petito’s father Joseph Petito’s posts reviewed with the social media textual analytics tool: Twinonomy. Finding that online newspapers framed Petito’s case in a traditional victim viewpoint with facts about the crime not the causes behind the violent acts. Online posts, hashtags, and video engagement with the online audience built an online community that helped the investigation to solve Petito’s crime. Future research needs to be studied on IPV and social media. Through accountability, this study showed that online audience engagement and prevention education can promote healthier relationships to reduce IPV for society in the digital world.
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    Effects of source cues and storytelling on attitudes toward Covid-19 vaccination
    (2023-05-09) Kalwa, Taylor; Kim, Hyang-Sook; Towson University. Department of Mass Communication
    Guided by the Parasocial Interactions Framework and the Elaboration Likelihood Model, this study examined how source cues and storytelling occurring on social media could have an impact on someone’s attitude toward the COVID-19 vaccination. Specifically, the proposed study employed a 2 (source cue: non-health expertise vs. health expertise) x 2 (storytelling type: conversational vs. informational) between-subject factorial design experiment to test proposed hypotheses. A post-hoc analysis of an online experiment through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) with 311 participants revealed that participants with no COVID-19 vaccination relied on either expert or informational message tone to shape their attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination whereas participants with at least one COVID-19 vaccination valued the quality of information presented in the tweet regardless of cues presented. Implications for attitudes toward COVID-19 vaccination are discussed.
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    The participatory American K-pop fan - a study of culture and 'glocalization'
    (2023-05-08) Hollamon, Rebecca M.; Formentin, Melanie J.; Towson University. Department of Mass Communication
    This critical cultural analysis draws on existing cultural artefacts created by Korean pop (K-pop) fans of group Bangtan Sonyeondan (BTS) in the United States. Specifically, this study examines the unique participatory fandom culture (Jenkins, et al., 2006) of K-pop fans and how this fandom exists in current culture scholarship, including Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, glocalization, cultural amnesia, the current understanding of the transnational K-pop fan and orientalism or cultural appropriation. BTS is examined as a case analysis because of their unprecedented success in the United States, as well as their dedicated and massive transnational fan base. Cultural artefacts examined in this study are juxtaposed mass media articles and Tweets discussing BTS’s hit-single, Dynamite, the group’s first all English song. This study contributes to a more current understanding of K-pop fans, how they interact with glocalization in their participatory culture and how they negotiate culture while consuming a different country’s cultural products.
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    Online social support and self-care on Facebook: a content analysis of the Forever35 private Facebook group
    (2023-05-05) Gamble, Ann; Haller, Beth A.; Towson University. Department of Mass Communication
    The digital infrastructure of online communities enables the facilitation of interpersonal help-giving and help-seeking behaviors while also providing a platform for community members to share information. This study explores the type of content that is available from Forever35, a private Facebook group established for the purpose of bringing members together around the topic of self-care. Using Cutrona and Suhr’s (1992) basic social support dimensions as a guiding framework, this study identifies the various ways in which social support exchanges occur in this members’ only group. Textual analysis is used to examine socially supportive discourse. The findings provide insight on the nature of Forever35 as not only a self-care resource but also as a source for social support. The analyses revealed that the discourse taking place in the Forever35 private Facebook group functions to promote discussion and information sharing by providing a forum where members can solicit and/or provide feedback to one another. In its most dynamic state, these types of community spaces serve as fertile ground for the types of social interactions that can enable social support. Although this study reaffirms that informational support is the most observed form of social support in this group, it also acknowledges the value added benefit of the possibility for the emergence of emotional, esteem, and network support.
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    Swipe right or get left behind: presentation of masculinity in the Tinder dating app
    (2022-03-10) Conderacci, Lee; Formentin, Melanie J.; Towson University. Department of Communication Studies
    The following study sought to better understand the ways in which men perform and present their masculinity within the Tinder dating app, and to what extent this performance is reflective of their personal attitudes towards gender roles within heterosexual dating and courtship rituals. Considering traditional hegemonic constructs of gender and assigned social roles, and within the context of the recent rise of the #MeToo movement, this research examined the ways in which men self-present and behave in the world of contemporary dating. Using the focus group discussion method of collecting data, the study considered the ways in which men in conversation with each other make sense of cultural phenomena related to dating, sex, and heterosexual relationships. The research explored the possible societal and practical implications of the #MeToo movement within the world of heterosexual dating both online and offline through men’s shared personal accounts and lived experiences using the Tinder dating app.