“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”: College Students, Social Media and the #BLACKLIVESMATTER Movement

By:  Spencer Hall, Sam Baucham, and Tim Harris

Concordia University- St. Paul

Faculty Mentor:  Kim Flottemesch, PhD

This study focused on how college students are using social media in the #Blacklivesmatter movement. There have been several socially galvanizing events surrounding the #Blacklivesmatter movement that have led to many people to turn to social media to voice their opinions, share information and debate different ideas. This study specifically focused on college student’s involvement on social media surrounding these events. The data suggests that Facebook was overwhelmingly the main choice for participants to gather information about this movement. While college students are gathering information about the #Blacklivesmatter movement on social media, the data suggests that participants rarely posted or shared information about the movement on their personal social media platforms. The study addressed how the Uses and Gratifications theory helps explain why people may or may not use social media for the purpose of news/information gathering.

Read “Hands up, don’t shoot”: College students, social media and the #BLACKLIVESMATTER movement”

Hegemony, Gender Stereotypes and Disney: A Content Analysis of Frozen and Snow White

By: Larisa Arnold, McKenna Seidl, & Ariel Deloney
Concordia University St. Paul
Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Kim Flottemesch

A content analysis was conducted and focused on the gender roles, gender expectations,
and social norms in Disney films. The researchers studied one past Disney film, Snow White and
compared it with the most recent Disney film, Frozen to draw distinctions and similarities
between them. Through a chi square test of association comparing specific Disney roles of both
men and women, minimum differences have been shown between past and recent films. Disney
has made changes in their films by removing some overt gender stereotypes from the films;
however, they continue to use many of these stereotypical gender expectations.  The data
suggests that hegemonic principles can be applied to the most recent Disney film Frozen.  Disney
has hidden traditional gender norms under the guise of being progressive while still utilizing the
successful Disney formula of traditional gender roles and expectations.

Read “Hegemony, Gender Stereotypes and Disney: A Content Analysis of Frozen and Snow White”

Giving and Receiving Compliments: What are Your Intentions?

By:  Tyler Karlberg, Nancy Moua, Emily McDonough, and Sam Alakija

Concordia University- St. Paul

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Kim Flottemesch

Compliments are a part of everyday communication in American culture.  While many use
compliments in order to gain compliance or to show interest in further developing a relationship,
underlying intentions may be different than what is perceived by the receiver.  The researchers of
this study investigated the difference in the motivations of compliments both given and received
based on different categories. Using a survey of students at a faith­-based university in the
Midwest, researchers were able to gather insight into the intentions of giving compliments as
well as the perception of received compliments.

Read “Giving and Receiving Compliments:  What are your intentions?”

Communication Quality Differences Between Legos and Minecraft

By:  Michael Cullen, Joel Klein and Keith Crockett

Concordia University- St. Paul

Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Kim Flottemesch, PhD

Communication between pre-adolescent boys can be viewed as strange and unlike teen girls and “grown ups”. According to Debra Tannen (1990), “All genders strive to be understood, however young men try to communicate to remain independent.” This often leads to competition amongst the male gender. In order to test this theory, this study looks to observe if there are any differences between hands on activity communication and technology gameplay communication. The study observed 3 pre-adolescent boys trying to work together to make a house in Legos and then the boys were instructed to make a house on Minecraft. The levels of communication vary but there are constant and interesting ways pre-adolescent boys communicate to each other. The data from the study suggests that Minecraft allowed for more quality communication than Lego’s.

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The Prevalence of Gender Communication in Social Media

By: Alicia Eckman, Kelsey Fisher, Talia Stifter
Concordia University, St. Paul
Advising Professor: Dr. Kim Flottemesch, PhD

The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between online self-disclosure and perceived appeal and define characteristics that individuals find appealing and unappealing in online self-disclosure. The findings from this study reveal significant differences in gender communication that distinctly affect the perceptions of online social media profiles. Using Deborah Tannen’s Genderlect theory, these gender differences are explained.

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Anonymous Communication on the Internet and Trolling

By: Allison Klempka and Arielle Stimson
Concordia University, St. Paul
Advising Professor: Dr. Kim Flottemesch, PhD

Internet Trolls are an online subculture who participate in posting upsetting or shocking content, harassing users, and spreading false information for their own enjoyment. As of the time of this study, research is limited on the trolling culture, the perception of trolls, and trolling behavior. The researchers have investigated trolling culture, as well as conducted a study in which subjects were asked to relay their emotional reactions to a selection of online comments, and mark the comments they considered to be trolling behavior. The results were meant to discover whether subjects of different age generations differed in their perception and definition of trolls. The results clarified that trolling was frequently associated with poor behavior, although the degree of disapproval and definitions for trolling varied between age groups.

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A Feminist Analysis of the Film “The Hunger Games”

By Kristi Loobeek
Concordia University, St. Paul
Advising Professor: Dr. Alan Winegarden

The purpose of this paper was to analyze the appearance of feminism throughout The Hunger Games, especially when pertaining to the lead female character of Katniss Everdeen. The thesis of this paper is that, while characteristics of all three “waves” of feminism were present within the motion picture, third-wave feminism prevailed as most apparent.

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A Communication Analysis of Religion in Education

By:Cody Wilcoxson, Kelley Spencer, and Savannah Nolen
Concordia University, St. Paul
Advising Professor: Dr. Kim Flottemesch, PhD

The researchers chose to examine religion as a factor in the decision to attend a university and the way that students adapt communicatively to faith-based universities. The concept brought many aspects of communication into play, but only a specific group of theories were applicable to the research findings. The researchers selected two theories to help explain the data: Communication Accommodation Theory and Symbolic Interactionism Theory. Both, Communication Accommodation Theory and Symbolic Interactionism Theory, focus on the decision-making and adaptation aspects of the study.

Read “A Communication Analysis of Religion in Education”