Volume 10, Issue 1 - February 2015Print | Email

Narratives Behind Bars: Incarcerated Women, Motherhood, and Meaning Making

10-1 F 1 1The ability to communicate about our personal experiences has consistently been linked to the capacity to heal from trauma and feel empowered to make positive decisions. For many of society’s most marginalized members, stereotypical images and narratives stand in for the unique experiences that undergird much of what we tend to see as “natural.” For incarcerated women, whose histories are often marked by sexual abuse, domestic violence, poverty, PTSD, a lack of education, housing insecurity, mental illness, and substance addiction, we find significant cultural ignorance about their pathways to incarceration and inadequate structural support for sustained recovery and empowerment. 

Since 1970, the number of imprisoned Americans has grown tenfold, with women now constituting the fastest growing prison population in the United States. In a recent issue of Text and Performance Quarterly, we suggest that U.S. culture has much to learn from incarcerated women, starting with listening to their stories. In the summer of 2011, as volunteers who helped design, participate, and fundraise for an organization called Resolana, we solicited life stories from 23 women who were incarcerated in the Dallas County Jail.


Learn more>

Cross Current

“Generation C” Speaks Out: What Is a Competent Communicator?

10-1 CC 1 1Walk down any sidewalk, anywhere. How many young people do you see looking down at their smartphones, oblivious to everything else—even friends walking right alongside? Do you ever wonder what is happening to real communication in this technologically crazed world of ours?

Those young people you’re seeing may well be members of “Generation C,” born since 1990 and adolescents after 2000. They’re connected, content-centric, computerized, community-oriented and, most important, continually clicking. Put simply, they are digital natives who gravitate toward their “native tongue” when it comes to communication. They are constant users of communication technologies, now ubiquitous in contemporary society. In fact, they have never known life without these technologies, and they rely on them to stay continuously in touch with their families, friends, and foes—and their college professors, which brings us to the results of an intriguing new study about how members of Generation C prefer to communicate and how they actually do.


Learn more>

Communicating Humor in the Classroom Helps Fulfill Students’ Basic Needs

10-1 CC 2 1Ask any student who attends a college or university, and he or she will tell you that not all professors are created equal. While some professors make learning fun and exciting, others seem to suck the life out of education. For better or worse, students are stuck with their instructors throughout the length of a class, and experiences with their instructors ultimately end up being reflected in their learning. For this reason, communication researchers spend significant time studying and articulating the types of behaviors instructors perform to determine what motivates students and what serves to irritate, distract, and demotivate them.
Learn more>

How to Use Civil Dialogue to Encourage Silent, Oppressed Voices to Speak Up

10-1 CC 3 1Ever had a silent student in a communication class who refuses to speak his or her opinion in front of others on important controversial issues? If you have ever struggled to get a nonparticipating student to join in a political discussion, you are not alone. As communication experts, we know the value of engaging the voices of all our students, especially students who may come from underprivileged or marginalized backgrounds, who may offer underrepresented perspectives from the conventional classroom norm. Oftentimes, students holding the minority perspective may feel their voices are undervalued or unwanted, and thus may resist participating in important controversial discussions.
Learn more>


Disaster Communication and Jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon

10-1 T 1 1Adults’ social media use is rapidly increasing, perhaps validating risk and crisis communicators’ recent moves to jump on the social media bandwagon.
Learn more>

Famous 19th-Century Lecturer Puts Her Spin on U.S. Civil War Sites

10-1 T 2 3

In the midst of the U.S. Civil War sesquicentennial, travel to sites associated with the war is big business.


Learn more>

Words, Not Weapons: JFK Shows Ceremonial Messages Can Initiate Peace

10-1 T 3 1On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy delivered a commencement address at American University that has been called one of the greatest American speeches of the 20th century.
Learn more>

Arizona S.B. 1070 and the Brown Immigrant

10-1 T 4 1In 2010, Arizona passed S.B. 1070, immigration legislation that criminalized unlawful presence and permitted police to request identification from anyone whom they reasonably suspected of such unlawful presence.
Learn more>

The Mumbai Attacks and Making Sense of Global Terror

10-1 T 5 1When several gunmen swarmed India’s financial capital Mumbai and killed more than 160 people on November 26, 2008, the attacks played out across a spate of global media platforms.
Learn more>

Providing Emotional Support That Facilitates Stress Recovery

10-1 T 6 2Stress has been called the black plague of the 21st century. Currently, it is linked to all of the leading physical causes of death in the United States and is associated with the development of most major mental health problems.
Learn more>
 



Home Page | Narratives Behind Bars: Incarcerated Women, Motherhood, and Meaning Making | “Generation C” Speaks Out: What Is a Competent Communicator?  | Communicating Humor in the Classroom Helps Fulfill Students’ Basic Needs | How to Use Civil Dialogue to Encourage Silent, Oppressed Voices to Speak Up | Disaster Communication and Jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon | Famous 19th-Century Lecturer Puts Her Spin on U.S. Civil War Sites | Words, Not Weapons: JFK Shows Ceremonial Messages Can Initiate Peace | Arizona S.B. 1070 and the Brown Immigrant | The Mumbai Attacks and Making Sense of Global Terror  | Providing Emotional Support That Facilitates Stress Recovery 
Archives | Current Issue
  Communication Currents is a publication of the National Communication Association
Copyright 2015, NCA | About Communication Currents | For Media | For Instructors