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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Alan Ray

Second Committee Member

Heahter Hether


Using a Second Level Agenda Setting theory, Interpersonal Communication, Attitude Accessibility and Need for Orientation framework, this exploratory study examined, using the qualitative research method of focus groups, the relationship between Interpersonal Communication and media messages about Stockton, CA. Based on the themes that emerged from the discussions, results show contextual evidence that Interpersonal Communication acts as a facilitating instrument, allowing participants to 6 develop an understanding beyond the attribute description of Stockton, CA, generated by the media. This study also discovered new technology, especially social media, amplified the influence of lnterpersonal Communication of how media messages were ultimately understood. Lastly, the study concluded the University of the Pacific's reputation compensated for the school's undesirable location. Limitations and suggestions for future research are provided.



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