Theses

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  • "We do not live for material things:" indigenous culture and food security in Brazil, the case of the Cinta Vermelha-Jundiba village
    "We do not live for material things:" indigenous culture and food security in Brazil, the case of the Cinta Vermelha-Jundiba village
    This project is based on a qualitative analysis of the opinions of key actors involved in the construction of the indigenous village Cinta Vennelha-Jundiba (CVJ) in Brazil. The CVJ village represents a unique case in Brazil: for the first time in history, an indigenous group from different ethnic backgrounds got together and bought their own land. The research question that guided the analysis is in the context of the creation of the CVJ village: Does food play a role related to cultural reinvention and ethnic reconstruction? The purpose of this project is to explore how food has the communicative function of a bridging mechanism between the Pankararu and the Pataxo cultures in the CVJ village. The conclusions of the analysis show that the interaction between the CVJ's inhabitants is characterized by profound cultural reconstruction and ethnic reinvention, and food production and consumption are key factors in these processes.
    "Well, listen ... " : acoustic community on Toronto Island.
    "Well, listen ... " : acoustic community on Toronto Island.
    "Well, listen. .. "is a sound composition about the acoustic community of Toronto Island and Toronto Harbour. The project explores how people create and experience acoustic community, how perceptions of the soundscape are related to attitudes about nature and culture, and how power relationships are articulated through sound. The project is based in environmental cultural studies and in sound ecology, notably the work of Williams (1973), Schafer (1977), Westerkamp (2002) and Truax (1984), and concludes seven months of soundwalks, interviews, composition, editing and field research. Participants discussed the soundscape of Toronto Island, noise pollution in Toronto Harbour and the relationship between sound, community and ecology. These interviews were edited and re-assembled in a manner inspired by the contrapuntal voice compositions of Glenn Gould. Field recordings reflect the complex mix of natural, social, and industrial sounds that make up the soundscape of the harbour, and document the acts of sound walking and deep listening that are the core methods of soundscape research. The composition creates an imaginary aural space that integrates the voices and reflections of the Island's acoustic community with the contested soundscape of their island home. The project paper outlines the theory and methods that informed the sound composition, and further explores the political economy of noise pollution, especially in relation to the Docks nightclub dispute and to current research in sound ecology.
    "Why nobody told me and why it would have been impossible to do so until now" : an autoethnographic inquiry into teaching and learning towards social justice in early childhood teacher education
    "Why nobody told me and why it would have been impossible to do so until now" : an autoethnographic inquiry into teaching and learning towards social justice in early childhood teacher education
    In this paper, a personal narrative autoethnographic methodology is used to begin mapping a transformative learning journey towards teaching and learning for social justice in early childhood teacher education. In autoethnography, personal lived experience is the primary source of data. This inquiry explores two stories of personal transformative learning using a journey metaphor to structurally frame the inquiry. Through a process of writing as inquiry (Richardson, 2003) and emotional introspection (Ellis, 1991) and using a conceptual framework based on postmodern perspectives, this autoethnographic research paper reveals the steps toward critical consciousness (Freire, 2006) taken by the author/researcher-a student in early childhood teacher education-as she uses personal narratives of lived experience in early childhood teacher education as primary data to explore the implications of this transormative learning process to explore themes around teaching and learning towards social justice in early childhood teacher education programs.
    "You Have to Have Tough Skin": The Impact of Social Exclusion on Immigrant Mothers of Children with Disabilities
    "You Have to Have Tough Skin": The Impact of Social Exclusion on Immigrant Mothers of Children with Disabilities
    This exploratory research considers the way gender, racialized ethnicity, and disability, as markers of difference, contribute to the social exclusion experienced by immigrant mothers as primary caregivers of child(ren) with a disability. Interviews were held with eight immigrant mothers in the Greater Toronto Area exploring barriers to accessing informal, formal networks of support, and the resulting impact on their lives. The findings include a lack of ethno-specific and extended family support as well as a lack of accessible, transparent government, social service information, and service provision. Other issues concern language, equity and access to services, impact on personal health, caregiving for aging parents, and future concerns for their children’s short and long-term welfare. Recommendations are based on a social inclusion framework of principles, which are relevant to policy makers, service providers, educators, and members of society.
    # Pillar of Defense: Using Social Media to Manage Impressions of Conflict: A Case Study of the November 2012 Israel-Hamas conflict
    # Pillar of Defense: Using Social Media to Manage Impressions of Conflict: A Case Study of the November 2012 Israel-Hamas conflict
    Threats to reputation can destroy a brand. Communicating effectively during a conflict can help to manage negative impressions that expose brands to reputation risk. This is important now more than ever as organizations—and nations—turn to Twitter to address various publics. The rigid 140-character structure of Twitter thus necessitates the creation of sound bites that act as productive texts to address multiple rhetorical objectives simultaneously. An examination of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Twitter account through sentiment and content analysis shows evidence that the Force took a significantly defensive approach to impression management of Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. There is evidence that Israel sought to re-frame public impression of its military involvement from aggressor to defender in the armed conflict. Codes discovered in the analysis suggest that the IDF tried to justify force, avoid responsibility and establish legitimacy of its operations.
    #FollowUs: Brand connectivity and marketing techniques that attract millennials on Instagram
    #FollowUs: Brand connectivity and marketing techniques that attract millennials on Instagram
    The increasing digitization of contemporary media and culture -- particularly in the West -- is changing how companies market themselves to their target audiences. As the millennial generation increases its online presence and its use of mobile digital technologies, companies whose main consumers lie within this demographic are having to shift their marketing tactics to become more technologically- and mobile-friendly. The world of social media, in particular, has become the second (virtual) home for much of the millennial population. How they dress, where they go, and what they eat are all becoming increasingly impacted by the companies, brands, people, and trends they “follow” online. In this Major Research Project (MRP) I will focus on the ways companies are marketing to millennials by focusing on the ways two clothing brands favoured by millennials are marketing and branding themselves on Instagram. I demonstrate that while these companies’ brand values may be exceedingly different from one another, their social media/Instagram strategies are surprisingly similar. That is, I will argue that these two clothing brands follow a distinctly similar set of social media marketing techniques in order to bring the best shopping experience through the use of images and captions -- into the digital world and to their millennial audiences. In other words, by adhering to a sort of social media orthodoxy, these brands are able to create a stronger connection between themselves and their millennial generation of followers.
    #JustDoIt: Brand-to-Consumer Interaction via Twitter
    #JustDoIt: Brand-to-Consumer Interaction via Twitter
    Nike’s “Possibilities” campaign has become a prime example for social media adoption in marketing. In August 2013, Nike had asked its consumers to redefine “Just Do It” by taking to Twitter and sharing their athletic achievements under the #JustDoIt hashtag. The iconic slogan has since then evolved from a mere promotional message to a trending Twitter topic that continues to engage consumers today. By examining Nike’s #JustDoIt Twitter conversation, marketing professionals and scholars alike can develop a more informed understanding of how Twitter facilitates interaction between a brand and its consumers. The paper aims to explore how Twitter can be used to develop and maintain relationships between businesses and consumers by examining the interactions within Nike’s #JustDoIt conversation. Using Bakhtin’s (1981) notion of heteroglossia and Zappavigna’s (2011) interpretation of the imagined audience and ambient affiliation, this paper will conceptualize the interactions that took place and demonstrate their applications to the practice of social business (Rajagopal, 2013) and Integrated Marketing Communication (Kapoor, Jayasimha, and Sadh, 2013). The research questions are: (1) How does #JustDoIt facilitate interaction between Nike and its consumers? (2) What are Twitter users saying in Nike’s #JustDoIt conversation? (3) To what ends does #JustDoIt serve in Nike’s overall mission? Heteroglossia, the imagined audience, and ambient affiliation are all concepts that can be used to describe user interactions within Twitter hashtags. For businesses, these terms provide a framework for better understanding how branded content can reach audiences on Twitter, thus informing strategies that seek to engage consumers and spark conversations.
    'Natural Conservatives?': Examining the Voting Associations Of Ethnic And Visible Minorty Communities In The Toronto CMA, 2007 to 2011
    'Natural Conservatives?': Examining the Voting Associations Of Ethnic And Visible Minorty Communities In The Toronto CMA, 2007 to 2011
    The Conservative Party of Canada attributed its successful breakthrough in the Toronto area during the 2011 Canadian federal election to their engagement of ethnic and visible minority voters, whereas in the past, these voters were associated with the Liberal party. This research study uses spatial and statistical analyses to test patterns of association between the electoral support for the three major parties and presence of ethnic and visible minority communities. The research uses data from the 2006 Census of Canada, as well as the voting results of the 2011 and 2008 federal elections, the 2011 and 2007 Ontario provincial elections and the 2010 Toronto mayoral election. The findings suggest that non-European origin ethnic and visible minority communities are associated with the Liberal party at the federal and provincial levels, but the opposite is true at the municipal level, and the federal Liberals are haemorrhaging support from ethnic and visible minority communities to the Conservatives and NDP. The victories of the federal Conservatives may instead be associated with other factors like vote splitting, low voter turnout, and divisions between urban and suburban areas., Title should read: 'Natural Conservatives?': Examining the Voting Associations Of Ethnic And Visible Minority Communities In The Toronto CMA, 2007 to 2011.
    'Positive' images?: a critical examination of queer visibility in contemporary popular culture.
    'Positive' images?: a critical examination of queer visibility in contemporary popular culture.
    "The past five decades have seen a marked increase in attention to, and representations of, queer people in mainstream popular culture. Within the last ten years, several films and television programs featuring gay men and lesbians have garnered critical acclaim and high ratings among diverse audiences and myriad companies have incorporated queer imagery into their advertising campaigns. Despite fervent protests from socially conservative organizations, this trend shows no signs of abating."--Introduction.
    'Victims' of the status quo: Canada's ongoing marginalization of sex workers.
    'Victims' of the status quo: Canada's ongoing marginalization of sex workers.
    The conflict between a sex worker's natural right to dignity, and the scope of control she can exert over her own body - her rightful property - plays a central part in much of the research and debate surrounding the commercialization of sex, and there is little consensus as to which natural right is of greater fundamental importance. This conflict over the morality and legal rights of sex workers is plainly evident in Canada's own treatment of the issue; spanning a period of over twenty-five years, the research and reports on prostitution commissioned by the federal government constitute several thousand pages of empirical evidence documenting the harm caused by the criminalization of prostitution, yet no changes have been made to the country's Criminal Code provisions since 1986. Throughout these government reports and the testimony of dozens of participants in the 2005 hearings held by the country's Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, the same conflict of language and ideology is repeated; regardless of the time and location, conversations about prostitution within Canada follow an almost predictable pattern of spinning wheels and little progress. In light of the new opportunity to effect change in Canada's approach to prostitution law, this paper examines the signs and significations evinced in the language of Canada's present laws, and traces the legislative history of sex work in the country as well as the cyclical nature of the observations and conclusions drawn by the many federally-appointed committees charged with addressing the topic. Select witness testimony from hearings conducted by the most recent committee to address the state of prostitution, the Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, is also reproduced and analyzed. Using the opposing perspectives of victim and rights discourse as a loose framework, particular analytical focus is placed on the language used and ideological beliefs expressed within both the formal reports and testimony. Finally, the core conflicts revealed in Canada's hearings and formal reports on prostitution are placed within a larger body of theory on human agency and the physical body for the purpose of emphasizing the unequivocal necessity of respecting sex workers' autonomy, first and foremost, in any future determination of sex work's place within the social and legal fabric of the country.
    'You have the right to remain silent' an exploration of public perceptions of free speech
    'You have the right to remain silent' an exploration of public perceptions of free speech
    This study explores the online public's reaction to the National Security Agency's surveillance Prism programs in light of the confidential government document leakage to the public on June 7, 2013. Through an in-depth qualitative analysis of top recommended user comments to the news article published in The Guardian describing the technicalities of the Prism program, public perceptions of civil liberties like free speech in new media communication are explored. Overarching themes and salient discourses on the public's understanding of their democratic rights emerged in the analysis. The findings revealed a number of competing views of liberty, and while the majority of the users opposed government surveillance and agreed it was in violation of their rights, further examination revealed a temptation to withdraw from using new media communication susceptible to government surveillance, thereby hindering the Internet's ability to act as a valuable arena for public debate as afforded by new media communication
    (Re)discovering Toronto's waterfront:  infrastructure and connectivity in a post-industrial landscape
    (Re)discovering Toronto's waterfront: infrastructure and connectivity in a post-industrial landscape
    The transition of waterfront land use from industrial to post-industrial is a global phenomenon. There are several forces that are driving this change, including the advancement of shipping technology and the relocation of industrial processes to areas with greater availability of land. In place of industrial uses, many cities have undertaken, or are in the process of undertaking the redevelopment of their waterfront. As a result of past industrial use, there often exists, a significant amount of transportation infrastructure that isolates the city from the waterfront. This paper establishes the context for waterfront redevelopment, before examining the impact of infrastructure urban forms by using the work of Kevin Lynch as a tool for analysis. Several case precedents are used to examine the course of action that other North American cities have pursued to mitigate the impact of infrastructure forms on the waterfront and how they may influence the way Toronto deals with its waterfront infrastructure.