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Research

Students in the department actively participate in research activities. In the past, they have studied Oregonian communities, the effectiveness of educational materials, imagery in advertising, and themes in music. Here are snippets of just some of the research projects that were presented at the most recent Linfield College Annual Student Collaborative Research and Creative Projects Symposium:

Creating Community: The Dory Fleet of Pacific City (2nd place)
By: Casee R. Clark

This study examined excerpts from five interviews with members of the Dory Fleet in Pacific City, Oregon, conducted during the months of June, July, and August in 2011. The purpose of the project was to understand how co-cultural groups create their community by examining the members’ communication about their social reality and how they construct their value system.

Sponsoring Faculty: Dr. Brenda DeVore Marshall

Full project

The Creation of a Lighting Design for Dead Man’s Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl (3rd place)
By: Katherine Grainey

Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone is a contemporary comedy that explores human connections in an age dominated by technology. The play consists of many scenes occurring in places as different as a café, a dining room, a stationary store, the Johannesburg airport, and hell. The transitions to the various scenes involved an ensemble of robot dancers who were constantly on smartphones. As a lighting designer, my goal was to make the audience believe the characters were in all of these different locations and to emphasize the digital nature of the play.

Sponsoring Faculty: Tyrone Marshall

Full project

Communication, Contraception and Culture: A Semiotic Analysis of Educational Materials for Latinas
By: Maia M. Mercer

This study uses semiotics to examine four written pamphlets promoting contraception in the Spanish language. The analysis shows that in general these pamphlets did not appear to be especially effective for the Latina community. They all use too many words, too many key points, hard-to-understand language, and they do not tell an easy-to-follow story.

Sponsoring Faculty: Dr. Brenda DeVore Marshall

Full project

Happiness and Struggle: A Metaphoric Criticism of Reggae
By: Logan C. Veith

This study examines the use of metaphors in the lyrics of Reggae music to understand the context and meaning of the music and to understand the message it sends to its audience. The lyrical content in Reggae was found to convey two themes. One theme was that of unfairness, inequality and struggle, while the other was happiness and joy. This study concluded that under the context of Reggae music, the audience is presented with a reality of inspiration to overcome struggle.

Sponsoring Faculty: Dr. Brenda DeVore Marshall

Full project

Is It Sexy? A Semiotic Analysis of Sexual Imagery in Japanese and United States Advertising
By: Marc P. Pereira

This study presents a semiotic analysis of several magazine advertisements in an attempt to explore body image and sexuality as it is illustrated in marketing campaigns in both the United States and Japan. It was found that there is a difference in how sexual imagery was used between the United States and Japan, with the United States focusing on experience and passion while Japan focuses more on innocence and youth.

Sponsoring Faculty: Dr. Brenda DeVore Marshall

Full project

Nonverbal Cues in the Communication of Attraction
By: Cameron E. Howser

Using Deborah Tannen’s genderlect theory as a basic framework, this essay examines the nonverbal cues that indicate attraction within a social interaction. The results of the study have found that men exert nonverbal cues to establish power and dominance, while they avoid showing emotions and vulnerability. Women express nonverbal cues to initiate closeness within a relationship by explicitly displaying emotions, while actively submitting to the male dominance within the conversation.

Sponsoring Faculty: Dr. Brenda DeVore Marshall

Full project

Semiotics & Ideology in the Visual Rhetoric of the Black Panther Party
By: Phillip A. Vaglica

This essay presents an analysis of the way in which Emory Douglas influenced the public perception of the Black Panther Party through the use of the visual image as a rhetorical device. The analysis led to the conclusion that visual rhetoric was vital to the success of the Black Panthers. Working with a combination of the visual and the linguistic helped the group to reach a large audience and to convey their desire to fundamentally change the social order that existed in the 1960s.

Sponsoring Faculty: Dr. Brenda DeVore Marshall

Full project