Theses

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  •  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.
     “Now I feel ‘truly’ like me!”: a discourse analysis of the ways ‘the gaze’ functions in two children's picture books featuring transgender and gender variant characters
    “Now I feel ‘truly’ like me!”: a discourse analysis of the ways ‘the gaze’ functions in two children's picture books featuring transgender and gender variant characters
    Drawing on transgender, queer and feminist theoretical perspectives, I critically analyze two children’s picture books featuring transgender and gender variant characters. With these critical theoretical perspectives in mind, this discourse analysis examines the ways the books, both visually and textually, depict gender embodiment and the experiences of the characters. Using questions derived from these theoretical lenses, I analyze concepts of power, normalcy, difference, the gender binary, gender fluidity, intelligibility and unintelligibility. These concepts contribute to the dominant discourse of ‘the gaze’, seen in varying ways in the books. Children’s story books largely underrepresent the experiences of transgender characters, particularly books outlining, and explaining, a social gender transition. The majority of picture books with LGBTQ+ themes focus on same sex families and feature boys in dresses, thus centralize around disrupting the constraints of masculinity. I conclude this paper with recommendations for selecting, reading, and discussing books with transgender and gender variant protagonists. The central themes outlined in the academic literature illustrate that ‘the gaze’ and regulation of knowledge have a significant impact on what is visible in children’s books. This may ultimately affect children’s understanding, and appreciation, of gender variance and, hence, social gender transitions in early childhood.
    "A Stone In The Ocean": A Mixed Methods Investigation Into The Experiences Of Families Trying To Reunite In Canada
    "A Stone In The Ocean": A Mixed Methods Investigation Into The Experiences Of Families Trying To Reunite In Canada
    Every year many families are formed, or find themselves separated, across borders. To address the problem of family separation, the family class stream of immigration to Canada, which accounts for 20-30% of new immigrants annually, allows citizens or permanent residents to sponsor certain family members for permanent residency. Yet there has been very little research on experiences of this policy. Family reunification immigration, located at the intersection of the personal and the political, has been marginalized by masculinized policy disciplines that focus on macro-trends in immigration and render the family invisible, and by feminized disciplines that focus on the family and individual in immigration while rendering policy invisible. This dissertation fills that gap in the literature, using a critical policy studies approach informed by aspects of Critical Theory, intersectionality and Foucauldian interpretations of power. I explore the lived experiences of families as they apply to reunite through the family class stream, and of families who would like to apply to reunite but cannot. I used mixed methods—qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys—to collect data from 169 families, and 100 key informants who support applicant families, including lawyers, consultants, settlement workers and constituency office caseworkers. This approach and research design allowed me to expose and develop a deep knowledge of families’ experiences that have until now been marginalized. Findings show that, though the decision on an immigration application is important, a sole focus on that decision both excludes applicants’ vastly different experiences during the process and renders invisible those who cannot even apply. Diversity in experiences was closely related to interactions between different aspects of social location, and policy design and implementation. Applicants exercised many forms of initiative and agency, but were ultimately constrained by policy structures. The new Government has recently made promising changes, but we must ensure these changes are effective and continue to advocate for further improvements that would mitigate applicants’ negative experiences. Finally, more research needs to be done, most importantly on family reunification through immigration streams that were excluded from this study.
    "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.