Liu Co-Authors Analysis of Maternity Leave Discourse

Assistant professor Meina Liu is a co-author on a recently published study of maternity leave discourse in organizational contexts. The article is the lead essay in the March 2008 edition of Communication Monographs.

Communication MonographsThe study expands applications of Burkean pentadic mapping from traditional rhetorical texts, such as speeches and written documents, to interview discourses. This methodological adaptation assists scholars in understanding openings and closings, that is, opportunities and constraints, in discourses in a variety of communication areas. In particular, pentadic mapping is a way of discovering discursive paths for empowerment and transformation. This study examines the interview discourses of 21 nonmanagerial women who have taken at least one maternity leave. Pentadic mapping of the discourses suggests that leave-takers in pink collar occupations primarily (re)create an organization-as-scene dominated pentad favoring organizational motives. The discourses suggest alternative pentads, terms, and ratios that represent potentials for feminist transformation for leave-takers.

Citation: Meisenbach, R.J., Remke, R.V, Buzzanell, P.M., & Liu, M. (2008). "'They allowed': Pentadic mapping of women's maternity leave discourse as organizational rhetoric."Communication Monographs, 75, 1-24.

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