Theses

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  • "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.
    "Hey Faggot" Understanding that the Current Homeless System Planning Policy, and Land Use Planning Tools is not Designed to Address the Socialized and Institutionalized Disregard for the LGBTQ Homeless Youth Population
    "Hey Faggot" Understanding that the Current Homeless System Planning Policy, and Land Use Planning Tools is not Designed to Address the Socialized and Institutionalized Disregard for the LGBTQ Homeless Youth Population
    Making up a disproportionate amount of the homeless youth population, LGBTQ homeless youth face a myriad of problems from increased depression and anxiety, emotional and belonging issues; higher rates of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse; and higher rates of STI and heath problems associated with increased rates of survival sex.The findings, derived from a literature review, a review of current policies and land use planning tools in Toronto, interviews with two frontline homeless service providers and two policy workers, have brought to light areas where the profession of urban planning can contribute to reform the current system of shelter and support facilities.Through language and skills training, provincial and municipal policy on housing and homelessness, land use planning tools of zoning by-­‐laws and public consultations and the siting of facilities, and political backing, urban planning can help to aid in the provision of services for LGBTQ homeless youth.
    "I don't have a creative bone in my body" : awakening creativity in educators
    "I don't have a creative bone in my body" : awakening creativity in educators
    Creativity is regarded as the solution to problems of the twenty-first century. Without developing creative attitudes and skills, educators and children risk hindering their creative interests and limiting the number of ways there is to learn and respond to the world. This qualitative study aimed to address the symbiotic relationship between creativity and learning and how creativity is conceptualized and encouraged by educators. Using an unstructured open-ended interview, six educators actively involved in the field of Early Childhood Studies shared their thoughts, insights and expertise. The findings indicated that before educators can encourage creativity in their students they must initially identify creativity within themselves. By broadening personal definitions of creativity, educators can begin to recognize how encouraging and teaching for creativity allows children to define their own proximities of learning and imagine the impossible as possible.
    "I don't want to go back" : the complicated case of Polish displaced children to Canada in 1949
    "I don't want to go back" : the complicated case of Polish displaced children to Canada in 1949
    On September 7, 1949, a group of 123 Polish displaced children from Tengeru Camp in Tanganyika (Tanzania) arrived in Halifax on board the U.S. Army transport, the General Heitzelman. The Canadian government accepted these children on the assumption that they were all orphans, but shortly after their arrival, the Communist regime in Warsaw accused Canada of kidnapping the children and demanded their immediate repatriation claiming that some of them had parents and relatives living in Poland. This paper examines the diplomatic row between the Canadian and Polish governments over the resettlement of these children and argues that the Canadian authorities assessed the problem from a more balanced and less ideological point of view while taking into account the interests of the children and a humanitarian image of Canada.
    "I want to find a better place" : Assyrian immigrant women and English-language acquisition
    "I want to find a better place" : Assyrian immigrant women and English-language acquisition
    Canada's point system has helped ensure that many immigrants, both men and women, are fluent in English upon arrival (Kilbride et. al, 2008.) Consequently, research has indicated that those who enter as sponsored or dependent family members, the majority of whom are adult women, arrive with limited fluency in English. A qualitative research approach, including two focus-group interviews with seven Assyrian immigrant women helped identify factors that have stymied or facilitated their successful acquisition of English. Conceptualizing the relationship between the langugae learner and the social world, a feminist poststructural theory (Weedon, 1997) provided a glimpse in the ways in which proficiency or, lack thereof in English has impacted the lives of Assyrian immigrant women in the areas of work, family and well-being. The findings suggest there are needs specific to each ethno-linguisitc group and that a one-size-fits-all approach in English programming does not help address these differences.
    "If Only I Didn't Embarrass Myself in Front of the Class!" Social Anxiety and Upward Counterfactual Thinking
    "If Only I Didn't Embarrass Myself in Front of the Class!" Social Anxiety and Upward Counterfactual Thinking
    This study examined the relationship between social anxiety (SA) and the generation of upward counterfactual thoughts (U-CFT; ―if only...‖ thoughts imagining better outcomes to past events). U-CFT has been associated with negative affect and with social anxiety in past research (e.g., Kocovski et al., 2005). Participants (n= 89) were randomly assigned to generate U-CFT in response to a controllable or uncontrollable social-evaluative scenario. When comparing those with extreme SA scores, those higher in SA generated a greater number of upward as compared with downward CFTs. A significant positive correlation between SA and U-CFT was found when examining subsets of the sample (i.e., those in the controllable scenario, students). Potential mediators between SA and CFT were examined. Postevent Processing emerged as the only significant mediator (among students only). There was no evidence of maladaptive CFT (i.e., in response to the uncontrollable scenario only) within subsets or the sample as a whole.
    "If We Don't Do It For Our Parents, Then Who Will?"  Afghan Youth as Cultural/Language Brokers
    "If We Don't Do It For Our Parents, Then Who Will?" Afghan Youth as Cultural/Language Brokers
    This paper looks at the role that immigrant adolescents play as cultural/language brokers for their families. Research shows that immigrant adolescents play exceptionally supportive roles as cultural/language brokers for their families during the early years of settlement. There is limited research examining this phenomenon of cultural brokering by immigrant adolescents in Canada, and perhaps no particular research focusing on Afghan youth. The paper presents insights from nine Afghan youth who through their cultural/language brokering are important sources of support for their families during settlement. It will also include a compilation of previous literature on this area. Despite the struggles of negotiating with their role as cultural/language brokers in the early years, the youth generally shared positive experiences of being able to be a source of assistance for their families. Additionally, the participants viewed their role as a cultural/language broker to be a part of their familial responsibility
    "If only I had known...": young peoples participation in the construction of their learning disabilities
    "If only I had known...": young peoples participation in the construction of their learning disabilities
    This paper explores how young people participate in the construction of their learning disabilities and how the experience impacts their internal truth, and self-concept. The results show that none of the interviewee subjects in the study participated in the Identification Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) meetings conducted in Ontario. The interviewees did participate in a variety of other forums such as psychological testing, university development centers, and conversations with family members, and teachers. Analysis of coded qualitative interviews reveals four major themes that were interwoven: internal truth of self-concept about disability; external truths of individuals of self-conceptualization about disability; knowledge of disability; and participation in the construction of the label of disability. The children’s rights framework and the new sociology of childhood are used to explore the construction of self-concept for children and young people with disabilities, and the nature and timing of their participation in matters regarding them and their label of exceptionality in the Ontario education system. Keywords: self-concept, participation, learning disability, exceptionality, young people, construction of labels.