Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication (MA)

Degree Level





Matthew Spialek

Committee Member

Lindsey Aloia

Second Committee Member

Ron Warren


Communication Infrastructure Theory, LGBT, Political Communication, Political Participation, Sense Of Belonging


This study will examine the relationship among inclusive communication, sense of community belonging, and political participation within local communities. Communication from organizations such as local advocacy and local, mainstream media that contains content acknowledging relevant topics for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community members. I explore ways that Communication Infrastructure Theory (CIT) can be applied to organizational inclusive communication’s influence on community marginalized members’ sense of community belonging and political participation. CIT has been applied to the study of racial and economic minority communities in past research in the past, but this study applies CIT to the study of the marginalized LGBT community. The purpose of this research is to discover communication resources that strengthen the likelihood of pro-LGBT political participation in both LGBT community members and heterosexuals. Sense of belonging is a predictor of community members’ active engagement in their communities in CIT and civic participation research. Communication from local organizations and media has not been described as a direct influencer of communication but as more of an influencer of sense of community belonging, which is then predicted to effect community engagement. Another purpose of my study is to see if CIT can be applied to political outcomes. I will also attempt to discover whether communication still has indirect effects on engagement when used in a political context.