Making meaning of the Hmong: a qualitative case study of community discourse in the construction of public opinion

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Humanities
Department Communication
Author Baker, Sherry
Title Making meaning of the Hmong: a qualitative case study of community discourse in the construction of public opinion
Date 1994-06
Description This case study explores the multi leveled community discourses through which members of the receiving community in Fresno, California, constructed their opinions of Hmong immigrants as evidenced in media and experiential texts. Media frames of the Hmong are identified through close textual analysis in two media texts: a newspaper text consisting of 16 long articles from The Fresno Bee published between 1986 and 1991 and a broadcast text consisting of questionnaires completed by six broadcast professionals in the Fresno area in 1991. The experiential text is comprised of responses to questionnaires distributed in 1991 through the snowball method and returned anonymously by study respondents . Transcript ions of 27 respondents ' self-descriptions of their discursive experiences with and about the Hmong are analyzed through qualitative phenomenological methods . The analysis examines respondents ' personal experience with the Hmong , interpersonal communication with others about them, and media messages to which they were attentive and explores the impact of those discourses on the construct ion of their opinions of the Hmong. The experiential and media texts taken together identify a catalog of ideas and perspectives about the Hmong that existed and circulated through public discourse in the Fresno area. The study concludes that for respondents in this case, public opinion of the Hmong was organized and constructed in interpersonal discourse about them among respondents ' personal and professional associates in their own small -scale interpersonal publics . Opinion was formed within the discursive context of a multileveled network of parallel and intersecting discourses through which information and ideas about the Hmong were shared and transmitted across the community. Diverse community discourses about the Hmong converged in mass media stories and were displayed there , but the media did not set the agenda for or provide the context or dominant frames for discourse about the Hmong for this study's respondents . Personal experience with the Hmong was also less influential in opinion formation than was interpersonal discourse about them. Change in opinion, however , was a result of personal contact and experience with the Hmong. A final dialectic between communication theory and the study's findings results in the suggest ion of a profile for a communication model of public opinion formation that would explain the discursive opinion formation processes identified in this case.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Sherry Baker 1994
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 3,809,805 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2473
Conversion Specifications Original scanned on Epson GT-30000/Epson Expression 836XL as 400 dpi to pdf using ABBYY FineReader 9.0 Professional Edition.
ARK ark:/87278/s67w6t19
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2013-08-06
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 196049
Reference URL