Theses

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  •  The use of indicators in sustainability reports produced by corporations operating in the Canadian oil sands industry
    The use of indicators in sustainability reports produced by corporations operating in the Canadian oil sands industry
    This thesis aims to explore and understand the use of indicators in sustainability reports produced by 13 corporations operating in the Canadian oil sands industry. The literature review demonstrated that little work has been done to understand the use of indicators and reporting within this industry. Three research questions are addressed through a content analysis of sustainability reports. The analysis shows that when looking at indicators based on the common themes or sustainability pillar they address, there appears to be consistency across the industry. However, when looking at indicators individually, there is a great deal of inconsistency making comparison of reports and benchmarking incredibly difficult. This research has a number of practical implications, particularly, it is the first comprehensive review of indicators being disclosed in the industry and can be used by a variety of stakeholders. Further, this research sets the foundation for a number of other possible streams of future research.
     Threatened or threatening? The framing of asylum seekers from the United States in the Canadian newsprint media
    Threatened or threatening? The framing of asylum seekers from the United States in the Canadian newsprint media
    Following the implementation of Donald Trump’s Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, Canada has seen an increase in asylum seekers irregularly entering the country from the United States. The Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement is viewed as the main factor why asylum seekers have been crossing irregularly rather than at official border crossings. This study examines how the Canadian newsprint media has been framing these asylum seekers by analyzing 83 articles published in the National Post and The Globe and Mail between January 27, 2017 and April 27, 2017. A directed content analysis and social constructionist lens revealed seven dominant framings of asylum seekers, with the ‘victim/human rights’ framing occurring most frequently. The results of this study show that asylum seekers are more frequently being framed positively than negatively, a likely result of Canadian attempts at national self-differentiation from a negatively-perceived America.
     Three phase digital earth leakage detection
    Three phase digital earth leakage detection
    In any electrical system, protection is the most important requirement to secure both human lives and appliances from any damage. The THREE PHASE EARTH LEAKAGE DETECTION (TDELD), is a design which could be implemented in three phase electrical environment to provide protection to user as well as equipments against any earth leakage fault. Being a microcontroller based solution, it provides ease and luxury at the user end with the help of its auto reset and display features. This research will attempt to improve the existing ELCB design using PIC microcontroller to automatically switch back system to its normal mode when the TDELD tripped during any electric shock or temporary earth leakage while in permanent leakage fault, it provide input control to bring back the system to its normal operation. The results of this research after doing several tests have shown that the average sensitivity value for TDELD against leakage current is better than what could be found in a conventional ELCB.
     Too hot for the Library:  access to films with sensitive content
    Too hot for the Library: access to films with sensitive content
    This thesis explores decisions on access to collections with sensitive content through a case study analysis of the library principles and archival practices applied to the films from the Youth Film Distribution Center (YFDC). These films are overseen by the Reserve Film and Video Collection at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center. The Reserve Film and Video Collection has been the principal circulating audiovisual department for The New York Public Library since the 1950s. The objective of this thesis is to explore processing decisions for films with sensitive content (e.g. films promoting negative stereotypes of their subjects or featuring violent or sexually explicit content). The thesis offers an historical overview of the Youth Film Distribution Center and outlines the processing decisions surrounding levels of access for the YFDC title Seeing (1972).
     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.
     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.
    "A Snake Charmer with a Camera" : Nina Leen's Contributions to Life Magazine: 1940-1972
    "A Snake Charmer with a Camera" : Nina Leen's Contributions to Life Magazine: 1940-1972
    Nina Leen (c. 1909–1995) was a Russian-born émigré photographer who worked for Life magazine from 1940–1972, contributing photographs to stories published in 374 issues. Leen’s photography received little attention following her death, as her working method, oeuvre, and character depart from those of the archetypal photojournalist. Using digital reproductions of Leen’s photographic prints and negatives from the Life Photo Collection, a full run of Life, and archival documents housed in the Time Inc. Records at the New-York Historical Society, this thesis evaluates Leen’s contributions to both Life magazine and the field of photojournalism. An introduction, literature survey, and methodological description contextualize Leen’s career. Two appendices and a list of figures present images selected in this thesis, and the issues and sections of Life in which Leen’s photographs were published. Three chapters discuss the beginning of Leen’s career and her typical approach to magazine photography, and two chapters analyze the years leading up to Life’s conclusion as a weekly magazine, when Leen held more command over her output.
    "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.
    "Black Men Have To Work Much Harder": An Exploratory Study On The Gendered-Racialized Experiences And HIV Vulnerabilities of Heterosexual Young Black Men
    "Black Men Have To Work Much Harder": An Exploratory Study On The Gendered-Racialized Experiences And HIV Vulnerabilities of Heterosexual Young Black Men
    Research literature on the HIV vulnerabilities of heterosexual young Black men tend to focus on individual risky behaviours, without acknowledging the structural conditions that put them at risk. The aim of this study was to explore the gendered and racialized experiences of heterosexual young Black men, their HIV vulnerabilities, and conditions that promote their collective resilience. Using a narrative approach, I conducted two focus groups and five individual interviews (N=15). I also applied the lenses of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and intersectionality to critically analyze the participants’ narratives. The study results showed that social vulnerabilities, produced through anti-Black racism and White hegemonic masculine expectations, shaped the racialized and gendered identities of the participants and increased their HIV vulnerabilities. Participants identified social support, mentorship, access to equitable opportunities and safe space for critical dialogue as conditions that promote their resilience. Thus, effective HIV prevention responses must be underpinned by social justice.
    "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.