College of Communication Master of Arts Theses

Date of Award

Spring 3-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Organizational and Multicultural Communication

First Advisor

Lisa Calvente

Second Advisor

Alexandra Murphy

Third Advisor

Daniel Makagon


This project examines the way in which the U.S. nation-state works through cultural institutions such as schools and the media to create ideological cultures of control. A main argument of this project is that control cultures (re)produce an essentialist framework of an “All-American” dominant culture rooted in the ideology of whiteness through which youth identity – and to a larger extent, American national identity – is to be conceptualized and created. Cultural analysis is used to show how the articulation of dominant ideology works through discursive formations to shape the racial identities and regulate the bodies of students, parents, and educators. Subculture is presented as a site where young people of color can resist the regulation of their bodies and imposed conceptions of self. This project argues that spectacular youth subcultures present Black Diasporic youths – as well as the adults who observe them – with possibilities for unity, stylistic expression (such as ‘sagging pants’ style) and identity formation that can resist, refuse and even (re)mix school cultures of control.

Included in

Communication Commons