Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Crisis management--Cross cultural studies; Crisis management--United States; Crisis management--Great Britain; Crisis management--Bangladesh;


An inherently managerial commitment, functionalist/positivist theoretical orientation, and Western/U.S. bias characterize the dominant stream of crisis communication research and scholarship in the United States. These characteristics render analysis and assessment of crisis and crisis communication especially in nonWestern settings somewhat limited in scope and coverage. This limitation becomes all the more apparent when crisis is conceptualized as a social phenomenon, not merely an organizational one. Such conceptualization decenters the organization as the sole source of power to initiate crisis response and management, foregrounds the discursive terrain related to a crisis whereby multiple sources compete with their respective realities about the crisis, and thus challenges the dominant organization-centered logic of crisis communication research and scholarship in the U.S.

This thesis presents a postcolonial theory-driven critical discourse analysis of news coverage on the collapse of a multistoried garment factory building in Bangladesh, which killed more than 1,100 people and wounded more than 2,000 others, and its aftermath, by two newspapers each from the United Kingdom, United States, and Bangladesh. The analysis illustrates how (re)conceptualizing crisis as social phenomenon and crisis communication as discourse destabilizes certain taken-for-granted assumptions that undergird the dominant crisis communication scholarship and research in the U.S.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Communication Studies

First Advisor

Charles Kyle Rudick, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vi, 121 pages)