Theses

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  • Who's afraid of the big bad wolf : examining attacks on Canada's federal centre-right political parties in the televised negative political advertisements between 1993 and 2006 using propaganda analysis
    Who's afraid of the big bad wolf : examining attacks on Canada's federal centre-right political parties in the televised negative political advertisements between 1993 and 2006 using propaganda analysis
    This thesis uses a triangulated methodology of focus groups, semiotic analysis, and content analysis to categorize and analyze the televised negative political advertisements aired during the Canadian federal elections between 1993 and 2006. How these attacks made against the conservative parties during this timeframe were interpreted by mothers of adolescent children receives particular considerations. The findings demonstrate that during this period the Canadian debate between individualism and communitarianism was prevalent in these political advertisements. It is argued that propaganda methods, namely the name calling technique, were used effectively by the left-wing parties to emphasize specific ideological traditions in conservatism and to link the conservative parties to the United States of America for strategic purposes. The author contends that political advertisements are complex expressions of a party's ideology and goals, thus this campaign tool ought to be studied more by Canadian academics.
    Whole program analysis of Java programs for virtual calls and exception handling.
    Whole program analysis of Java programs for virtual calls and exception handling.
    Java Programs suffer performance degradation due to the presence of virtual calls and the lack of an efficient exception handling mechanism. In this dissertation, we show how virtual calls can be statically resolved to one or two target methods. The resolved calls can then be potentially inlined and hence improve the performance of the program. Analyzing the whole program (including the Java runtime library) instead of only user code has a positive effect on the performance of the program. We present two exception handling mechanisms, Direct Path Analysis and Display Catch Exception Handling, that improve the performance of programs as compared to the existing popular techniques, Stack Unwinding and Stack Cutting. The first analysis shows that the number of the stack frames needed to be unwound is lower in our analysis than Stack Unwinding. In the second analysis, we propose the Display Catch Exception Handling mechanism which is better than Stack Cutting in terms of operations required to catch exceptions.
    Whose Memory is it Anyway? An Exploration of Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust
    Whose Memory is it Anyway? An Exploration of Forgotten Voices of the Holocaust
    During the Holocaust, Hitler and his Nazi Party were responsible for the systematic annihilation of millions of Jews, as well as the callous slaughter of additional minority groups such as Roma, Sinti, homosexuals, the physically handicapped, mentally ill and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Nevertheless, in Western consciousness, the Holocaust has essentially become synonymous with Jewish history and destruction. As a result, the non-Jewish victim experience has been effectively diminished in popular culture. This MRP draws on literature in cultural memory studies and survivor testimonies available on YouTube to analyze the power struggle between non-Jewish minority groups that were persecuted in the Holocaust and their Jewish counterparts to understand why the former appears excluded from mainstream Holocaust narratives. The goal: to emphasize that the Holocaust was not merely a Jewish tragedy, but a profound calamity for humankind.
    Whose Nature?: Exploring the Link Between Wilderness, Belonging and Residential Summer Camp Use among Canadian Immigrants
    Whose Nature?: Exploring the Link Between Wilderness, Belonging and Residential Summer Camp Use among Canadian Immigrants
    This study reviews the relationship between a national identity in Canada based on wilderness and the exclusionary experience of immigrants and racialized groups. In particular, this study focuses on the opinions and experiences of immigrant parents towards residential summer camps, as they have long been considered a typically ‘Canadian’ activity for youth. While summer camps are an activity dominated by youth, immigrant parents were chosen as a sample group because they play a large role in mitigating the summer recreational experiences of their children. Feelings of belonging and exclusion experienced by parents are important when evaluating issues of child socialization into Canadian norms. Included are the results of qualitative interviews with immigrant parents alongside several theoretical frameworks that assist in explaining the under-representation of immigrant groups in both residential summer camps and wilderness-based recreational pursuits more broadly.
    Whose lives are important?: A media analysis of the 2010 Haiti and Pakistan disasters
    Whose lives are important?: A media analysis of the 2010 Haiti and Pakistan disasters
    In 2010, Haiti and Pakistan experienced immense suffering, death and destruction as these countries faced two of the world’s greatest humanitarian crises. The earthquake in Haiti was very well reported. Celebrities, organizations and individuals recognized the need for help and contributed generously to various relief foundations. Unlike the attention Haiti received, the flood in Pakistan received far less media coverage. The lack of media attention in Pakistan arguably limited the public’s awareness of the flood and reduced the perception of urgency and need for humanitarian support (Winthrop, 2010). This MRP focuses on the news media in the service of reporting on international crises and investigates how the media takes an ideological position when reporting and presenting events to its audience. In this paper, I demonstrate how reporting in a major Canadian newspaper becomes an exercise in ideological power and influences audiences (Fairclough, 2001).
    Why My Dad Is Not Dangerously Regular: Normcore and The Communication of Identity
    Why My Dad Is Not Dangerously Regular: Normcore and The Communication of Identity
    Background: Using descriptors such as “dangerously regular”, K-Hole’s style movement has been making waves in the fashion industry for its unique, yet familiar Jerry Seinfeld-esque style. This de rigueur ensemble of the 90’s has been revamped into today’s Normcore. A Normcore enthusiast is someone who has mastered the coolness and individuality of fashion and is now interested in blending in. Purpose: The goal of this research was to understand the cultural relevance of the fashion trend Normcore, its subsequent relationship to fashion and identity, as well as what it reveals about contemporary Western culture and the communicative abilities of fashion. Method: The analysis was qualitative in nature and took an inductive approach combining visual and discourse analyses to understand the dynamic themes and relationships among fashion, communication, identity and culture. These methods provided insight into both the spoken and unspoken beliefs and values of the Normcore community. Results: One’s choice of apparel, colour, style and anything else that acts as a “signifier” becomes a medium for fashion to communicate identity. What is signified through fashion allows for communication about individual and collective identities, ranging from personal attributes and attitudes to socioeconomic status and gender identification. Trends and movements in fashion reflect cultural patterns, shifts in the political and social economy, ideological values, beliefs and affordances. They are indicative of society’s members, both individually and collectively, and thus are informative of a culture as a whole. This proved true for the relationship between Normcore and Western culture. Conclusion: Fashions are not random. They reflect cultural patterns, political ideology and socioeconomic standing. They possess communicative abilities that inform of individual and collective identities. We are able to understand society’s beliefs and values through signifying system that fashion communicates. This holds true for Normcore.
    Why are the Lights so Dim? Institutions Educating the Public on Photographic Preservation
    Why are the Lights so Dim? Institutions Educating the Public on Photographic Preservation
    With the emergence and expansion of the field of Photographic Preservation, it is important and beneficial to explain preservation initiatives on display to the audiences that we are engaging and preserving for. This assists in facilitating a public understanding of photographic preservation, as well as building relevance to the institution’s collections and mission. This project is concerned with the role interpretation plays in the visitor’s experience, specifically through text labels and seeks to gain insight into the ways museums educate their audiences about the special care required to exhibit photography. This data was collected by conducting a series of interviews with various institutions, as well as conversations with professionals in the field. Using these findings and appropriate research, four piece labels were created that would accompany and explain four differing preservation strategies in exhibitions: facsimile prints, timed light boxes, the use of drapery and low light levels.
    Why my Avatar looks like me:  a study of identity in Dungeons & Dragons
    Why my Avatar looks like me: a study of identity in Dungeons & Dragons
    The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of premade characters and visual aids on character connection in the analog role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons. Four participants gathered together to play the game of Dungeons & Dragons once a week for one month in May 2015. After the in-game research in-person interviews were conducted and the data was then coded in NVivo for major themes in relation to character connection. Research was also pulled from auto-ethnographic reflections to round out the data. The results of the data suggest that the participants felt that character customization, narrative, character backstory, as well as visuals played an important role in their ability to build a strong connection to their gaming avatar. Join the journey of four warriors building connection to their characters as they look to close the rift in the Shadowfell of the Keep.
    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.