Theses

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  •  The relationship between religiosity, spirituality, and obsessive-compulsive disorder
    The relationship between religiosity, spirituality, and obsessive-compulsive disorder
    Some OCD researchers have suggested that highly religious individuals may be predisposed toward developing obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but results regarding the relationship between religiosity and OCD symptoms are mixed. Notable weaknesses in the literature include the frequent use of measures with unknown psychometric properties that do not differentiate between various facets of religiosity (e.g., fundamentalism, spirituality, etc.), study of a limited range of religious affiliations, and predominant use of undergraduate student samples. Other research has demonstrated positive benefits of religiosity/spirituality for mental health. The current study attempted to clarify the relationship between OCD symptoms/cognitions and religiosity/spirituality using multidimensional measures of religiosity/spirituality. Seven hundred and forty-six nonclinical (students and community members) and 24 clinical participants (with a principal diagnosis of OCD) from a wide range of religious affiliations completed questionnaires assessing religiosity/spirituality and OCD symptoms/cognitions. In both samples, Obsessive-compulsive (OC) symptoms were either not significantly related or significantly, negatively related to religiosity and spirituality, but religious crisis was significantly, positively related to OC symptoms. In the nonclinical group, none of the facets of spirituality moderated the relationships between religiosity and fundamentalism or moral TAF. All facets of spirituality significantly moderated the relationship between religiosity and scrupulosity (all ps < .02), but additional variance explained was trivial (all ΔR2 < .004). In the clinical sample, only the universality facet of spirituality (i.e., the belief that the universe is ordered and all of humanity is connected) significantly moderated the relationship between religiosity and fundamentalism (t = -5.60, p < .001, 95% CI = -.53 to -.24, ΔR2 = .17) and between religiosity and moral thought-action fusion (moral TAF; t = -2.14, p = .04, 95% CI = -.38 to -.005, ΔR2 = .184). High religiosity was only associated with high fundamentalism or moral TAF when universality was low. None of the facets of spirituality significantly moderated the relationship between religiosity and scrupulosity (all ps = ns, all ΔR2 < .001). Religiosity and spirituality appear to be unrelated or negatively related to OC symptoms. However, religious individuals with OCD who experience religious crisis may benefit from psychoeducation/consultation with religious professionals to address these difficulties.
     The role of animal-assisted interventions in anti-oppressive social work practice.
    The role of animal-assisted interventions in anti-oppressive social work practice.
    This study explores the role that animal-assisted interventions (AAI) can play in antioppressive social work practice. A review of relevant literature has shows that while AAI have been demonstrated over time to have many benefits for service users, these types of interventions remain neglected by social work scholarship, and the relationship between AAI and antioppressive practice (AOP) has yet to be explored through research. Engaging a critical, AOP, and ecofeminist approach, this study uses qualitative methodology to explore the research question, “What role can animal-assisted interventions play in anti-oppressive social work practice?” Ultimately, this study confirms that AAI practitioners have found their approaches to be congruent with an anti-oppressive approach to social work practice. Data and themes which support this finding, as well as implications for the field of social work and recommendations for future research, are explored.
     The role of parking pricing and parking availability on travel mode choice
    The role of parking pricing and parking availability on travel mode choice
    This research examines the impact of parking pricing and parking availability on potential travel mode substitution among current drivers, in four case study areas in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). It serves to evaluate opportunities to decrease private vehicle usage among the GTA’s workforce. More specifically, the objective of this study is to analyze whether and to what extent parking pricing and parking availability alter drivers’ willingness to change their mode of transportation. Results from ordered logit models demonstrated that a driver’s willingness to change their mode of transportation was statistically correlated with parking cost and parking availability. Parking availability also impacted the correlation between parking pricing and drivers' willingness to change their mode of transportation. The results from this MRP suggests that interventions focused on reducing driving for commuting purposes may focus on changing parking pricing, but depending on the availability of parking, the impacts of such policy/ program may be different.
     The use of indicators in sustainability reports produced by corporations operating in the Canadian oil sands industry
    The use of indicators in sustainability reports produced by corporations operating in the Canadian oil sands industry
    This thesis aims to explore and understand the use of indicators in sustainability reports produced by 13 corporations operating in the Canadian oil sands industry. The literature review demonstrated that little work has been done to understand the use of indicators and reporting within this industry. Three research questions are addressed through a content analysis of sustainability reports. The analysis shows that when looking at indicators based on the common themes or sustainability pillar they address, there appears to be consistency across the industry. However, when looking at indicators individually, there is a great deal of inconsistency making comparison of reports and benchmarking incredibly difficult. This research has a number of practical implications, particularly, it is the first comprehensive review of indicators being disclosed in the industry and can be used by a variety of stakeholders. Further, this research sets the foundation for a number of other possible streams of future research.
     Towards assessing buildability in wood framed, superinsulated wall assemblies.
    Towards assessing buildability in wood framed, superinsulated wall assemblies.
    A superinsulated home has many attractive attributes including reducing CO2, saving energy and smaller energy bills. The Passive House certification—which originated in Europe—proves that superinsulating is an effective way to reduce energy consumption. As the popularity of superinsulation grows in North America, the need to assess the buildability of these structures increases. This MRP identifies six metrics of buildability for wood framed, superinsulated walls and creates a tool which can be used to assess the buildability of these assemblies. The tool will assess a specific set of working drawings in their local context. The tool is simple to use, assuming that the user has an understanding of the basics of building science and an understanding of the capabilities of the local trades and the local availability of materials. The initial tool was tested by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a series of case studies for most of the metrics. A revised tool is proposed which has been refined to address the shortcomings of the initial tool.
     Unboxing Nelvana: animation cel preservation and storage for the Nelvana animation collection
    Unboxing Nelvana: animation cel preservation and storage for the Nelvana animation collection
    With no concrete preservation practices in place, the conservation and preservation of animation cels is a challenge for the stewards of animation-related collections. Characterized as mixed media artefacts, animation cels fall somewhere between illustrative art and motion picture film, which partially accounts for the lack of defined guidelines. Studies researching the conservation of animation cels, such as the one conducted by the Getty Conservation Institute in collaboration with the Disney Animation Research Library are so recent that, to date, no conclusive findings have been established. This practical report focuses on the organization, conservation, and storage of the Nelvana Animation Collection housed at Media Commons, University of Toronto Libraries. The information and recommendations provided within are intended as a guide for approaching animation cel care and conservation following “best known practices.” These practices include currently adopted methods of cel conservation, as well as techniques borrowed from the conservation practices of similar objects.
     Working with sexual violence in the latinx community: testimonios and stories of racialized women workers
    Working with sexual violence in the latinx community: testimonios and stories of racialized women workers
    This narrative qualitative research study explores the experiences of Latinx women working with sexual violence in the Latinx community. It explores the stories and showcases the testimonios of two women who have worked in the field of sexual violence within the Latinx community in Toronto, Ontario for many years. Both participants shared similar stories, as well as different experiences with their own individual lenses. The theoretical framework draws from a critical race feminism theory as well as Latinx feminism, creating a mestizaje of theory. A narrative approach was used to collect data, along with an arts-based portion to honour traditional methods of knowledge sharing and expression. Data analysis included a thematic analysis to further look into the themes that emerged from the findings. Implications for future social work research and practice under an anti-oppressive lens are discussed in the conclusion.
    "Can I not wear my hijab in peace?" : understanding young Muslim girls reason for and experiences of wearing the hijab
    "Can I not wear my hijab in peace?" : understanding young Muslim girls reason for and experiences of wearing the hijab
    The aim of this research paper was to explore the reasons for and experiences of young Muslim girls wearing the hijab. Their decision to wear the hijab is examined by exploring the concept of choice within the framework of socialization. The participants included 4 young Muslim girls in the age range of 11-13 wearing the hijab and attending Canadian public school. Focus group and individual interviews were used for data collection.The results showed that religion was the primary reason why these girls chose to wear the hijab followed by their desire to develop a cultural identity and to represent Islam in the North American society. Family, peers and media were found to have an effect on their decision to wear the hijab. The girls narrated positive as well as negative experiences in and out of school, but were determined in their decision to wear the hijab and were happy with their decision. The implications and limitations of the study indicate a need for future research on this topic.
    "Canadian Experience' and Other Barriers to Immigrants' Labour Market Integration: Qualitative Evidence of Newcomers From the Former Soviet Union
    "Canadian Experience' and Other Barriers to Immigrants' Labour Market Integration: Qualitative Evidence of Newcomers From the Former Soviet Union
    Employment has always been the primary settlement need for most newcomers. However, more recent immigrants’ labour market integration achievements have generally not matched that of the Canadian-born, despite the fact that, on average, immigrants arrive in Canada better educated and at a similar stage of their career as those born in the country. Lack of recognition of international credentials, insufficient language proficiency and lack of Canadian experience are the most commonly cited barriers to immigrants obtaining employment commensurate with their skills level. This puts immigrants in a classic Catch 22 situation: unable to gain appropriate employment without Canadian experience, but unable to get this experience. As a result, many highly-skilled immigrants spend years trying to break into the skills commensurate labour market, and the longer it takes, the more difficult it becomes to have their skills and experience recognized.This study was designed to identify the nature and scope of the barriers that prevent foreign-trained professionals from practicing their professions and contributing more meaningfully to their new society. In particular, the study seeks to explore experiences of main applicants who came to Canada under the Skilled Workers category from the republics of the former Soviet Union.
    "Conversations that fly:" the Little Review and modernist salon culture
    "Conversations that fly:" the Little Review and modernist salon culture
    Margaret Anderson (1886-1973), the American writer, editor, publisher, and impassioned promoter of avantgarde forms of expression, defined great art as a struggle for communication (Anderson, Little Review Anthology 11). She ardently believed that the exchange of ideas is a sometimes difficult but vital component of the creative process. It is because of this belief that she launched a magazine called the Little Review in 1914, which quickly established itself as the leading avantgarde magazine of its era. The Little Review was launched on the eve of the First World War, a period when widespread tensions manifested themselves in the arts as well as in political and social realms. It was therefore a time when Modernism - a revolutionary movement in the literary and visual arts that began in the late nineteenth century in response to traditional discourses of rationality and reached its apogee in First-World-War and post-war era- established itself with a broad array of new cultural expressions (Tew and Murray 11). Modernist experimentations were spearheaded by its avantgarde, a group of radical artists and writers representing an aggressively antagonistic spirit and revolting against the old systems of order and bourgeois institutions of art, as theorist Renato Poggioli (8) has described the historical avantgarde of the early twentieth century. As we shall see, the Little Review was an important member of a vanguard that helped create a cultural revolution by casting off, and inventing entirely new, literary and artistic conventions.
    "Good" evidence: a critical lens on representations of development and the developing world
    "Good" evidence: a critical lens on representations of development and the developing world
    The ethics of conventional representations of the developing world in charity fundraising and photojournalism have been increasingly questioned. Van Leeuwen‘s (2000) social semiotic model of analysis of visual racism, applied to a famine image, reveals strategies for symbolically representing otherness that perpetuate a naturalized ― "Western rescuer/developing world victim" narrative. Respondent interviews demonstrate that such ― "poverty porn" produces viewer apathy, while an alternative representation depicting self-determination evokes a charitable response. Elliott‘s (2003) ethical framework is used to judge the harm of conventional representations. The results, while tentative, suggest worth in expanding the study in light of implications for represented persons, the viewer, and Canadian society. In the meantime, image producers and distributors must become visually literate to avoid using harmful images.
    "Has anyone seen my ancestral language?" Italian linguistic suicide and the transmission of the Italian language in Canada, 1935-1947
    "Has anyone seen my ancestral language?" Italian linguistic suicide and the transmission of the Italian language in Canada, 1935-1947
    Very little research, if any at all, has been conducted on the ancestral language retention of Italian-Canadians during World War Two. The aim of this research study was to compile a body of literature that would begin to support the notion that World War Two Italophobic policies inflicted by the Canadian government on the Italian-Canadian community could have negatively affected the intergenerational transmission of the Italian language in Canada, 1935-1947. In order to introduce the topic, a 'boxed-in' literature review was conducted by compiling research on Italian-Canadians during the war that spanned many topics. By grouping the material into specific themes, a structure for Italian lingusitic suicide began to emerge. Two sections on theoretical perspectives and oral histories precede an analysis of three interviews conducted in the Greater Toronto area that serve to bring reality and correlational evidence to the literature review.