Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Kathleen Propp
Dr. Heather Addison
Dr. Autumn Edwards
Perception, Africa, social, distance, communication
Masters Thesis-Open Access
This study examined American college students’ perceptions of Africans. Knowledge Gap and Systems Theory were applied to creating and discussing the research questions. Systems Theory addresses processes and levels of information transfer (Westley & Maclean, 1965). It requires an understanding of the sources, channels, messages, and the people who receive information in a communication encounter. Knowledge Gap Theory, on the other hand, states that when information circulates in a system, gaps in knowledge are formed and these gaps increase as more information enters the system (Tichenor, Donohue, & Olien, 1970). The results showed that consumption of radio and newspaper news, engagement with international news, and contact with Africans in academic, social, and work environments influenced American college students’ perceptions about Africans.
Mou, "Of Tribes, Wars, and Jungles: A Study of U.S.College Students’ Perceptions of Africa and Africans" (2014). Master's Theses. 505.