Thesis Title

A Feminist Analysis of the Implications of Darwin's Theory of Sexual Selection on English Literature

Date of Graduation

Spring 1999


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Jane Hoogestraat

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


The purpose of this thesis was to explore the relationship that exists between ministers and sick laity during a sick visitation, using the relational communication approach. The minister/sick person dyad was chosen for this study as it represents a new context in which to explore the relational dimension of control. Quantitative and qualitative methods were triangulated into the research design. The relational control coding scheme (RCCS) was operationalized for the quantitative method. Focus groups along with an interview and an observation were used for the qualitative method. Data analysis indicated that ministers and sick laity use more neutral symmetry (one across, one-across) movements of control in their interactions than other interact types. Content analysis indicated that sick laity seek an affirmation of hope in the interaction. These results were discussed in terms of implications of research in ministerial training and relational communication theory.


© Jennifer A Graham