Theses

  • 15499
  • 0
  • Why you bought it: how influences to buy sports products from personal network members differ between social media and in-person settings
    Why you bought it: how influences to buy sports products from personal network members differ between social media and in-person settings
    This major research project explores the extent to which normative and informational influences exerted by core and significant ties differ between social media and in-person contexts. Specifically, it focuses on how such influences persuade recreational athletes to buy sports products. Though normative and informational influences from a variety of personal ties have been studied in online and offline settings, they are seldom explicitly compared and contrasted. Moreover, recreational athletes and sports products have never been the subject of such studies. Based on qualitative interviews with six recreational athletes between the ages of 18 and 30, this study uses a content analysis with open coding to identify significant themes. The findings indicate that although in-person normative influence to buy sports products is easily identifiable, normative influence on social media is more difficult to detect. Yet regardless of the context, normative influence is powered by one’s desire for inclusion into a group. On the other hand, informational influence in the form of product recommendations does not differ between the examined settings. Thorough recommendations are more sought after than pithy ones, experts challenge recommendations and those who do not know much about a given product will seek information from experts. However, the findings also indicate that informational influence in the form of observation and analysis is preferred in offline situations compared with online ones. It is therefore clear that separate facets of normative and informational influence each present unique similarities or dissimilarities between in-person and social media settings.
    Widening the Circle: Racialized Immigrants in Toronto's Alternative Food Movement
    Widening the Circle: Racialized Immigrants in Toronto's Alternative Food Movement
    Toronto is a growing site for the alternative food movement with plenty of innovative projects. While the alternative food movement may emphasize the participation of diverse members and communities some observers have noticed the underrepresentation of immigrants and visible minorities within the movement. As Toronto increasingly acts as an immigration hub, it becomes critical to create room for diverse and marginalized voices in food spaces. This major research paper will reflect findings from interviews with five food leaders in Toronto involved in food justice and food security initiatives while using critical whiteness theory and critical race theory to deconstruct the complexities which surround the needs and visions of immigrants and visible minorities. Findings reveal that when the voices of immigrants and visible minorities are recognized in the food movement, there is work to be done in improving accessibility, inclusivity and collaboration of the movement.
    Will the real auteur please stand up!: authorship and product placement in film
    Will the real auteur please stand up!: authorship and product placement in film
    This thesis investigates issues of product placement in Hollywood cinema as seen through the lenses of theories of authorship and cultural economy. Feature films, with their captive audiences and finely-tuned marketing machines, may seem like ideal venues for advertisers to present goods to consumers in the form of placed products, yet even here the effects of economic and cultural synergy cannot be guaranteed. The thesis argues that while we live in a commodified environment where the consumer spectacle is woven into the fabric of everyday life, the meanings we derive from mass-produced products is not strictly limited to the interests of corporate capital. By providing a history of product placement in Hollywood cinema and three recent films as case studies, this thesis explores the impact of product placement on the creative agency of writers, directors, designers and audiences. The thesis employs textual analysis to link theoretical issues concerning the commodification of culture and authorial expression.
    Willful ignorance as resistance, harm reduction workers and ruling relations
    Willful ignorance as resistance, harm reduction workers and ruling relations
    This paper will explore how front-line harm reduction workers govern the space of agency services. In order to study how this is done this writer completed an institutional ethnography to illuminate how power operates in the day-to-day practice of a harm reduction agency. Harm reduction services have been criticized as a site of neoliberal governance through risk-management. This study aims to explore how harm reduction workers perform and understand their role within their agency. This writer interviewed front-line staff members that distribute harm reduction material, asking them about their adherence to their organizational policies and procedures. The policies represented by the text of the signage within agencies was also analyzed. Study results showed that staff members used wilful ignorance to allow people to use drugs on agency premises, provided they did so in a discreet manner. Harm reduction workers also tried to reduce the suffering, and promote the larger political goals of harm reduction, to help people who use drugs.
    William S. Sawyer exhibition : a thesis project : a curated exhibition of William S. Sawyer's collection and the preservation recommendations for its storage
    William S. Sawyer exhibition : a thesis project : a curated exhibition of William S. Sawyer's collection and the preservation recommendations for its storage
    This practical thesis project examines the planning process of a specific exhibition using the photographic collection of a Canadian photographer / portrait painter William S. Sawyer. The exhibition is drawn from the many artifacts, including photographic prints, family albums, newspaper clippings, and speeches on photography from William S. Sawyer's personal collection that were donated to the Archives Department at Queens University. Following several discussions with the head archivist at Queens University, Mr. Paul Banfield, I have created an exhibition for future display at Queens University archives. The exhibition contains a selection of 48 prints and related artifacts. This paper examines the procedures and decision-making processes used while planning this exhibition. The appendix includes the traditional byproducts of an exhibition including checklists, wall text, gallery layout and preservation and conservation recommendations for the objects included in the exhibition.
    Wind Turbine Sound Propagation Using A Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method
    Wind Turbine Sound Propagation Using A Finite-Difference Time-Domain Method
    Energy usage is on the rise in both Canada and the United States. Because of this, there is a growing demand and strain on the current infrastructure. More importantly though, there is a strong demand for the use of renewable energy sources to meet this demand. One of the most popular renewable energy sources at this time is the wind turbine. In Ontario, there are plans to implement a significant number of them throughout the province. There are concerns though from residents in the vicinity of them that they cause too much noise, as well as health issues. However, some argue that these complaints stem from incorrectly calculated setback distances due to the lack of use of a detailed sound propagation model. In this study, a sound propagation model was developed using a Finite-Difference Time-Domain method, for a three dimensional computational domain, and simulated using data for a Siemens SWT-2.3-101 wind turbine. The simulations produced data of the sound propagation characteristics of each emitted wave, for each tested case. The model was developed as a starting point and building block for the eventual use in simulations of large domains and complex flow phenomena.
    Wind energy forecasts in calculation of expected energy not served
    Wind energy forecasts in calculation of expected energy not served
    The stochastic nature of wind energy generation introduces uncertainties and risk in generation schedules computed using optimal power flow (OPF). This risk is quantified as expected energy not served (EENS) and computed via an error distribution found for each hourly forecast. This thesis produces an accurate method of estimating EENS that is also suitable for real-time OPF calculation. This thesis examines two statistical predictive models used to forecast hourly production of wind energy generators (WEGs), Markov chain model, and auto-regressive moving-average (ARMA) model, and their effects on EENS. Persistence model is used as a benchmark for comparison. For persistence and ARMA models, both Gaussian and Cauchy error distributions are used to compute EENS via a closed-form solution that reduces computational complexity. Markov chain and ARMA both provide accurate forecasts of WEG power generation though Markov Chain model performs significantly better. The Markov chain model also produces the most accurate EENS estimate of the three models.
    Windmills and Landfills: Framing Controversial Environmental Policies as a Risk to Human Health and Conflict Expansion Strategies
    Windmills and Landfills: Framing Controversial Environmental Policies as a Risk to Human Health and Conflict Expansion Strategies
    Conflicts about environmental policies are often focused on the risk to human health posed by a facility or technology. Genetically modified food, oil pipelines, and pesticides are examples of policy issues that have generated tremendous debate related to human health and safety. A key focus of scholarship on such contested policy debates places an emphasis on how these policies are framed, how framing alters the policy process and in turn alters policy outcomes. This research project asks how and why the framing of a policy as a threat to human health influences the policy process and policy outcomes? To answer this question, two case studies of environmental conflicts related to controversial facilities are examined and compared: a waste landfill conflict and a large wind energy conflict. This dissertation seeks to integrate an understanding of the role of risk into theories of public policy by building on the approach to analyzing policy conflicts developed by Sarah Pralle. By using a mix of qualitative, quantitative and process tracing methods in these two cases, this research seeks to understand the role of risk frames in conflict expansion strategies and how such frames are used to include new actors and institutions and thereby alter policy outcomes. The key finding in this study reveals the relationship between the framing of a policy as a threat to human health, the institutional venues in which that policy is contested, and the incentives for strategic venue-shopping these produce. When policy actors are able to successfully frame a facility as a threat to human health, they are able to shift the conflict over that facility to an institutional venue that does not privilege expert understandings of risk. This venue shift opens the opportunity to defeat the facility in a venue more open to non-expert understandings of risk. This finding is not only theoretically important but should serve as warning that institutional venues such as environmental assessment processes that restrict the consideration of risk to expert based assessments will only incentivize opponents to seek out new venues in which to pursue their goals.
    Window Memoization In Software As Applied To Image Processing Algorithms
    Window Memoization In Software As Applied To Image Processing Algorithms
    A new local image processing algorithm, the Tahir algorithm, is an adaptation to the standard low-pass filter. Its design is for images that have the spectrum of pixel intensity concentrated at the lower end of the intensity spectrum. Window memoization is a specialization of memoization. Memoization is a technique to reduce computational redundancy by skipping redundant calculations and storing results in memory. An adaptation for window memozation is developed based on improved symbol generation and a new eviction policy. On implementation, the mean lower-bound speed-up achieved was between 0.32 (slowdown of approximately 3) and 3.70 with a peak of 4.86. Lower-bound speed-up is established by accounting for the time to create and delete the cache. Window memoization was applied to: the convolution technique, Trajkovic corner detection algorithm and the Tahir algorithm. Window memoization can be evaluated by calculating both the speed-up achieved and the error introduced to the output image.
    Winter Studies And Summer Rambles: Anna Jameson's Representations Of The ‘Other’ And Self In 19th Century Colonial Canada
    Winter Studies And Summer Rambles: Anna Jameson's Representations Of The ‘Other’ And Self In 19th Century Colonial Canada
    Winter Studies and Summer Ramblesby Anna Brownell Jameson, a travel autobiography documenting her travels through Upper Canada from December of 1836 to August of 1837 and her contact with Native people. Despite Jameson’s claim of representing events as they are, devoid of subjectivity, it is clear that her writings reflect both the discourse of the time as well as her own position as a white, English speaking woman. Further, the colonial setting and the ‘contact zone’ provided Jameson with a space in which to experience different definitions of femininity and build on her feminist beliefs. In this environment she was able to evaluate the position of both white and Aboriginal women presenting a view which distinguished her from many other women writers of this genre.
    Wireless Body Area Networks Based on Compressed Sensing Theory
    Wireless Body Area Networks Based on Compressed Sensing Theory
    In this research, the effective sampling method known as Compressed Sensing (CS) theory is applied to Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) to provide low power and low sampling-rate wireless healthcare systems and intelligent emergency care management systems. The fundamental contribution of this work can be divided into three areas. 1) We propose two new algorithms in the sensing, measurement, and processing area to compress biomedical data. 2) In the communication area, one new channel model based on CS theory is defined to transmit compressed data to the receiver side. 3) In the receiver side or reconstruction area, two new algorithms for recovering the original biomedical data are presented to recover the original data. Our results will be divided into three areas. 1) We employ the proposed algorithms to WBANs with a single biomedical signal (i.e. Electroencephalography [ECG] signals as a sample signal). In this area, the simulation results illustrate an increment of 10% improved for sensitivity in receiving compressed ECG signals. The simulation results also illustrate a 25% reduction of Percentage Root-mean-square Difference (PRD) for ECG signals on the receiver side. In addition, they confirm the ability of CS to maximize the prediction level for received the ECG signal at either Gate Ways (GWs) or Access Points (APs). 2) We illustrate that the proposed algorithms can be employed in WBANs with multiple biomedical signals to enhance current health care systems into low-power wireless healthcare systems. In this area, the simulation results confirm that for a particular WBAN, including N biomedical signals, the sampling-rate can be reduced by 25-35% and power consumption by 35-40%, without sacrificing the network’s performance. 3) Here improvements for wireless channel feature between BWSs and either GWs or APs are shown. In this area, the results demonstrate that CS is able to maximize signal amplitude to 25-30% at the receiver as well as distance between transmitter and receiver BWS to 30%. Moreover, these results confirm that path loss can be reduced to 25%.
    Without Words You Spoke: Queer Representing, Early Photography and Feeling
    Without Words You Spoke: Queer Representing, Early Photography and Feeling
    By examining historical queerness through the lens of photography, this dissertation examines how the past contributes valuable knowledge about where we have been and where we are going. The history of queer representation is laden with violence, erasure and shame, as well as survival and persistence. I approach this legacy by bringing together three principal topics that I argue are closely related: queer photographic practices, the politics of the archive, and affect theory. Through the analysis of social conditions that formed discourses of homosexuality and industrialism’s development of photography in the late nineteenth century, the tension between oppressive laws and social change comes clear: it reveals a cultural crisis of taxonomy and representation in queer visual history. The slippages between cultural economy and representation are exemplified in nineteenth century visual culture as political economy was increasingly entwined with the individual and the state. Out of this matrix comes the advent of photography. Inexpensive and accessible mechanical reproduction made it possible for the apparatus of photography to be both complicit in the categorization and repression of homosexuality, as well as a site of subversion of the status quo. Conventions in portraiture photography inscribed the construction of normativity through ‘the cult of the empire,’ yet queer subjectivities challenged these standards. A number of specific case studies involving women photographers and photographic subjects – such as Mabel Hampton, Bonnie and Semoura Clark, Alice Austen, and found photographs from my personal collection illustrate a symbolic defiance to hegemonic structures. By investigating archival material with a specific focus on queer history and photography, the case studies illustrate how our affective lives are saturated with political meaning. Photography wields unusual power when examining the relationship between affect and feeling. The affect of photography derives from its insistence on the past. Yet, photography produces a here and now that can resist strictures of heteronormativity and patriarchy through politicized feelings. The approach to queer historization is firmly rooted in notions of social justice imperatives and anti-oppressive political strategies that include racism, gender inequality and classism. Queer archives evoke cultural persistence and knowledge through the affective context of remembering.