Date of Award

5-1-2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Crow, Bryan

Abstract

Through blending traditional communication theory, critical theory, and structuration theory, this dissertation interrogates the ways in which communicative modes of masculinity become (re)produced within the homosocial relational parameters of White, heterosexual, male-identified Donald Trump supporters. Through qualitative interviewing and analysis, the project illuminates two primary ways in which masculinity materializes within and through interpersonal relationships among men: 1) the reliance on insult humor as a facilitator of both male intimacy and masculine performance, and 2) the newly re-conceptualized mode of locker room talk (LRT) wherein certain private conversations among men are perceived as a politically fueled mode of talk used to speak back against larger discourses concerning political correctness and language policing. These findings lead the author to establish communicative compartmentalization theory (CCT), a conceptual model firmly positioned within critical interpersonal communication research geared towards understanding the complex ways in which systemic and structural power sustains itself through everyday social interaction.

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