Spring 2017

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. JEFF TREEM
CMS 386N.2
Unique Number:  07790
Wednesdays 3-6 pm in CMA 7.120
 
DESCRIPTION:
Through presentation of scholarly readings and immersion into one’s own in-depth research project, this course explores a variety of qualitative research approaches, taking into account issues of epistemology (ways of knowing), methodology (ways of examining), and representation (ways of writing and reporting). We will examine interpretive theory, and several intellectual traditions that constitute this field of research including analytic induction, grounded theory, sensemaking, and ethnography. We will read exemplars of qualitative research that illustrate these particular theoretical traditions as well as examine key issues such as gaining access to research sites, forms of interactions with research subjects, and research ethics. Students will carry out their own research project, engaging in 20+ hours of field research. Through this project, students will have the opportunity to collectively enact and reflect upon the central phases of qualitative research such as: planning, negotiating access, observing, interviewing, creating field texts, analyzing field texts, writing, and explicating the contribution of their work. The goal is that students will emerge from the class with first-hand qualitative research experience and a significant understanding of qualitative methods that can serve as a basis for an ongoing research program. 
 
TEXTBOOKS:
Tracy, S. J. (2013). Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact. ISBN-10: 140519202X | ISBN-13: 978-1405192026
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Restricted to CMS graduate students.
 

PERSPECTIVE TAKING

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. MATT MCGLONE
CMS 386P.9
Tuesdays  3:30-6:30 in CMA 7.120
 
DESCRIPTION:
The ability to take another person’s perspective is fundamental to human social life. It is intimately connected to the more general ability to infer others’ mental states and plays an essential role in communication and other cooperative social activities. In this seminar we will consider the origins, development, and adult expression of perspective-taking, with a focus on the ways in which perspective-taking informs (or sometimes fails to inform) communication.
 
ASSIGNMENTS:
Weekly Reaction Papers, Final Project Write-Up
 
TEXTBOOKS:
Decety, J. (2014).  Empathy:  From bench to bedside.  Cambridge, MA:  MIT Press.
Epley, N. (2015).  Mindwise:  Why we misunderstand what others think, believe, feel, and want.  New York, NY:  Vintage.
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all Communication Studies graduate students and with instructor approval, other University of Texas graduate students.
 

ADVOCACY

 
INSTRUCTOR:  DR. JOHN DALY
CMS 386P, unique # 07795 and MAN 383
THURSDAYS 12:30-2 pm in GSB 2.124
 
DESCRIPTION:
This course focuses on research and theory related to the very practical issue of how one "sells" ideas and themselves. Integrating topics in persuasion and marketing, the course reviews relevant theories and research on strategic influence.
 
TEXTBOOK:
Daly, J.A. (2011). Advocacy; Championing Ideas and Influencing Others
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
The CMS part of the course is restricted to Communication Studies graduate students. The Business School portion is restricted to Business graduate students.
 

COMMUNICATION & CONFLICT

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. MADELINE MAXWELL
CMS 389C
Mondays  6-9 pm in CMA 7.120
 
DESCRIPTION:
This course focuses on the relationships between social structures and communication as they relate to conflict. In addition to research on interpersonal conflict, we will review theory and research on intercultural/-social communication, identity, and language, especially so we can consider and compare studying social and interpersonal conflict. Students relate these studies to how gender, race, culture, region, age, class & sexual orientation, national identities, and so on are developed & reflected in communication. Language and communication will be investigated both as entities that can cause conflict (e.g., official language laws, public and professional standards, harsh words) and as transparent but constitutive and confusing elements of misunderstanding and conflict (e.g., the difficulty of translating ideas about rights across cultures, confusions over slang, relationship expectations). Other causes of conflict will be touched on briefly as the focus of this course will be how communication affects social relations. Intercultural communication is also, of course, characterized by positive factors in identity expansion, cooperation, altruism, negotiation, and collaboration. Newer intergroup as well as more traditional intercultural communication research informs many social contexts; some examples of these contexts are to be found in communication between members of co-cultures, cultures, nationalities, genders, generations, as well as in the workplace and health contexts. There are arguable intergroup dimensions to all of the areas of concern to communication scholars, including romantic relationships.
 
ASSIGNMENTS:
The major (60%) evaluation for grading will depend on the development of a research paper, using appropriate methods for an actual study. Twenty-five per cent will depend on class participation, and fifteen per cent is assigned to an essay on theory. Class participation will include discussion, leadership of discussion on reading, and role playing exercises.
 
TEXTBOOK:
Probable reading:  1) Chew, Pat., ed. 2001.  The Conflict and Culture Reader.  NYU Press. 2) Littlejohn, Stephen & Domenici, Kathy. 2007. Communication, conflict and the management of difference. Waveland Press. 3) Nichols, John.  1974.  The Millagro Beanfield War.  Owl Books. 3) Fadiman, Ann. 2012. The Spirit Catches you and you Fall Down.   Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 5) Carkeet, David.  1990. The Full Catastrophe.  6) Journal articles
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all Communication Studies graduate students and with instructor approval, other University of Texas graduate students
 

VOICES OF CITIZENSHIP

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. ROD HART
CMS 390N
Thursdays 3:30-6:30 PM in CMA 7.120
 
DESCRIPTION:
This seminar examines who the American people are and what can be done about them. It asks questions like this: What is an “authentic” citizen?  What does the person-on-the-street really sound like?  What sort of talk is needed to create communities?  To sustain them?  What images of citizenship are presented to us by the media?  How have digital technologies affected lay discussion?  Are people taught to be citizens or do they come by it naturally?  And what is a good citizen?  Has the definition of good citizenship changed over time?  Is a new ideal needed for the 21st century?
 
TEXTBOOKS:
Core texts: Anderson’s Imagined Communities; Schudson’s The Good Citizen; Perrin’s Citizen Speak; Dunkelman’s The Vanishing Neighbor; Coleman’s How Voters Feel; and Reagle’s Reading the Comments.
Minor selections: Gastil’s Political Communication and Deliberation; Bryan’s Real Democracy; Walsh’s Talking about Politics; Lindquist’s A Place to Stand; Tracy’s Everyday Talk; Hauser’s Vernacular Voices; Karpf’s The MoveOn Effect; Perrin’s American Democracy; and Papacharissi’s A Private Sphere.
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all University of Texas graduate students.
 

 


COMMUNICATION AND PUBLIC OPINION

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. TALIA STROUD
CMS 390N.6
Mondays 3-6 PM in CMA 7.120
 
DESCRIPTION:
This course will explore questions concerning communication, the media, and public opinion.  Beginning with historical work on public opinion, we will investigate what public opinion is and how it is constructed.  We will question how public opinion is formed, how it is structured, and how it can change.  We also will explore how public opinion functions in a democratic system.  Special emphasis will be placed on investigating how the media shapes, and is shaped by, public opinion. Theoretical and empirical research from sociology, political science, social psychology, and mass communication will be discussed.
 
TEXTBOOK:
Price, V.  (1992). Public opinion.  Newbury Park, CA:  Sage. 
<additional books TBA>
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all University of Texas graduate students.
 

THE SUBJECT

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. JOSH GUNN
CMS 390R.7
Wednesdays 3-6 pm in BMC 3.204
 
DESCRIPTION:
This course is a survey of contemporary theories of subjectivity from modernity to what some have described as "postmodernity."  The class is designed to introduce folks to the philosophical and theoretical works that inform contemporary discussions and debates in the theoretical humanities. Because the foci of our readings vary widely, we will attend to each text with an attention to logics of transcendence and immanence.  It is important to stress that this course will not make you an expert, and participants should rid themselves of any illusion of mastery.  This course is designed as a frame for further, in-depth painting on your own. We will be reading a number of authors, including (but not limited to) Alain Badiou, Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, Rene Descartes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and others.
 
TEXTBOOK:
[To be determined]
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Restricted to CMS graduate students.  Consent of instructor needed for all others.
 

MEASUREMENT WORKSHOP: SCALE DEVELOPMENT AND INSTRUMENT DESIGN

INSTRUCTOR:  DR. DAWNA BALLARD
CMS 390S.11
Thursdays 3:30-6:30 pm in BMC 3.204
 
DESCRIPTION:
This is a hands-on course that provides in-depth instruction on issues related to scale development and questionnaire design, ranging from establishing validity to increasing response rate. In addition to examining the relevant theoretical and practical literature on this topic, students will engage these issues, in part, through developing their own instrument. Therefore, this class is well-suited both for individuals already engaged in a specific line of research and poised to develop appropriate measurement instruments as well as those new to an area of scholarship who expect to need such tools in the future.
 
TEXTBOOK:
DeVellis, R. F. (2016). Scale development: Theory and applications. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Dillman, D. A., Smyth, J. D., & Christian, L. M. (2014). Internet, Phone, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Restricted to CMS graduate students.  Consent of instructor needed for all others.
 

GRANT WRITING IN COMMUNICATION

 
INSTRUCTOR:  DR. KERI STEPHENS
CMS 392P
Mondays 3:00 – 6:00 PM in BMC 3.204
 
DESCRIPTION:
This seminar course prepares graduate students to understand and participate in the grant-writing process.  Many of the assigned readings are actual grant proposals that we will analyze and critique.  Students will also gain graduate student teaching experience when they prepare and teach the class about their particular research interests.  This is an important assignment because their peers in the class will serve as their grant reviewers. The course concludes by having all students write a grant proposal and participate in grant review panels.
As an introduction to the grant-writing process, we will explore some fundable topic areas like health, safety, and organization science.  We will explore the growing need to create interdisciplinary teams and to negotiate site access for funded research projects.  While we will explore opportunities from large federal agencies like the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation, we will cover at least 20 additional funding sources, including several sources unearthed by students in our class.  Many students will identify a dissertation improvement grant or an early career grant that they will develop for the final course project.
 
ASSIGNMENTS:
1) Conduct online research to identify and develop a basic understanding of funding agencies, jargon, and writing styles.  2) Interview a successful funded faculty member in an area closely related to the student’s research interest. 3) Teach part of a graduate class and the content will include theory, typical methods, and key literature cited in a specific area of research.  4) Participate in a grant peer-review process and participate on grant review panels. 5) Identify a grant application that fits the student’s needs and complete the application by the end of class.
 
TEXTBOOK:
Published articles available from the UT Library, Grant Applications, and Public Resources
 
PREREQUISITES/RULES:
Open to all Communication Studies graduate students and with instructor approval, other University of Texas graduate students
 
Instructor information is available at the following: