Theses

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  • “Bahala Na Ang Dios”: The Church’s Role in the Socialization of Filipinos in the Greater Toronto Area
    “Bahala Na Ang Dios”: The Church’s Role in the Socialization of Filipinos in the Greater Toronto Area
    This paper investigates the role that the Roman Catholic church has played in the socialization of Filipinos in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The research is based on scholarly acknowledgment of the important place of social institutions—such as churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other places for religious and faith-based gatherings—in the settlement and integration experiences of immigrants. The paper argues that Roman Catholicism, first introduced into the Philippines via Spanish colonization, has become an important marker of identity for many Filipinos and has functioned—aided by their facility in the English language (a result of American colonization of the Philippines)—as a means of easing the barriers to Filipinos’ integration into Canada.To better analyze the role the Roman Catholic church has played in Filipino-Canadian immigrant life, the study provides an overview of the history of migration to Canada and discusses the place of the church as seen from the perspective of representatives of diasporic, transnational and second generation communities of Filipinos in Canada. As such, the main data for the study is drawn primary material comprising interviews with Filipino-Canadians from each of these community groups.
    “Feeling” in Modern Dance Print Media: Loïe Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Maud Allan
    “Feeling” in Modern Dance Print Media: Loïe Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Maud Allan
    Between 1890 and 1920, modern dancers such as Isadora Duncan, Loïe Fuller, and Maud Allan presented a new performative aesthetic in dance. Breaking from the narrative storytelling that dominated nineteenth-century vaudeville and ballet, these dancers advanced non-narrative movement, thereby encouraging a new aesthetic engagement from the audience, namely, one that was rooted in notions of corporeal sensation rather than narrative telos or (melo)dramatic pathos. These new responses, this dissertation argues, are reflected in the new tactics for writing the dancing body, which at once render problematic the putative objectivity of journalistic criticism and reveal the limits of traditional dance criticism’s focus on intricate technique and plot line. This dissertation pursues its argument by studying over 300 print reviews of dances performed by Fuller, Duncan, and Allan between 1890 and 1920 culled from North-American archives and representing a spectrum of print media—from mainstream national media, such as The New York Times, to regional newspapers, to more specialized theatre magazines—to reveal compelling insight into hermeneutic entanglements of language and movement. Informed by the work of recent performance studies (e.g. Phelan; Schneider; Taylor), this dissertation approaches this body of dance reviews from an inverse perspective from that represented by traditional dance history scholarship. That is, instead of reading reviews as documentation in order to understand these dances, the study explores how reviewers perform criticism, thus framing our understanding of modern dance in specific ways. This dissertation engages with the correlation between media and performance as either documentary or performative, arguing that writing performance offers promises for both types of engagement with the live event. Collectively, these reviews reveal that dance criticism involved a metacritical reflection on the significance of the critical writing act itself, and advanced a style of synesthetic metaphor to describe novel kinesthetic experiences of spectatorship. Ultimately, the new tactics to modern dance criticism not only revealed a crisis in articulation but prompted a performative style of writing dance criticism that went in tandem with the development of the dance review genre itself, whose placement in popular print media was mounting to become a regular feature by the 1930s.
    “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.
    “Hey Cabbie! Where are you From?” An Examination of Everyday Racism in Toronto’s Taxi Industry
    “Hey Cabbie! Where are you From?” An Examination of Everyday Racism in Toronto’s Taxi Industry
    Using an anti-racist Marxist lens, issues of social exclusion and settlement are broadly highlighted taking into account racism in an industry that is most commonly noted for its ease of entry for immigrant professionals. This study attempts to build on previous studies of Toronto’s taxi industry (Hathiyani, 2006; Abraham, Sundar, & Whitmore, 2008) to focus specifically on racism. This research paper examines the extent to which ‘everyday racism’ is both a by-product of and a critical ingredient in perpetuating structural racism, using Toronto’s taxi industry as a case study. Drawing on interviews from 18 fulltime taxi drivers who identified as racialized groups and were born outside of Canada, it describes the familiar tensions associated with experiencing and responding to instances of racism in a precarious industry. In the absence of an association, anti-discrimination or workplace rights to protect the driver against racial abuse and harassment, drivers are forced to negotiate their responses on an individualized basis. Drivers linked everyday racism to both class position and structural racism within the industry. These findings strongly demonstrated inadequate policies to protect drivers from everyday racism in the workplace as a result of both structural racism and a neo-liberal climate. This warrants further inquiry as Toronto’s taxi industry is a major employer of racialized, immigrant men.
    “Let’s keep it about Kony, not Kony 2012”  Exploring the shifts in language around a user generated hashtag during the Kony 2012 movement
    “Let’s keep it about Kony, not Kony 2012” Exploring the shifts in language around a user generated hashtag during the Kony 2012 movement
    Social media has become more than a platform for social engagement and connectivity. Users have tapped into the power of social media‟s reach to connect with like-minded individuals around the world. Protests, revolutions and global movements are taking shape as a result of what the Internet affords us as users – immediate connectivity. This paper aims to explore Twitter as a platform for activist movements. Specifically, I look at the language used within the Kony 2012 movement and aim to understand how the language within tweets changed overtime by following a user-generated hashtag (#Kony2012). For this study, I analyzed 325 tweets from the Kony 2012 campaign. These tweets were collected from March 5th 2012 to March 17th 2012. My findings indicate that Twitter‟s hashtag function was always used in the three following ways: (1) Sharing Information, (2) Passive Calls to Action, (3) Strong Calls to Action. Overall, the tweets I studied surrounding #Kony2012 hashtag suggest that this movement was weak in mobilizing change but strong in raising awareness
    “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.
    “Orgulhosamente Sós:” Recent Immigration to the Portuguese Republic
    “Orgulhosamente Sós:” Recent Immigration to the Portuguese Republic
    Immigration to the Portuguese Republic is a rather new phenomenon in a world where migratory patterns have become rather pedestrian. This paper analyzes the history of both Portuguese emigration and immigration to Portugal, and the role that international relations have played in both. It also demonstrates the social and governmental response to an increasing alien presence amongst the host society. It argues that racism is not an endemic issue in Portugal and that the host society, both its people and the government, have laboured to integrate newcomers into Portuguese society within a framework of Portugal's domestic needs, on the one hand, and her international commitments on the other.
    “Put It In Your Back Pocket”: Identity And Belonging Among Second Generation Racialized Canadians
    “Put It In Your Back Pocket”: Identity And Belonging Among Second Generation Racialized Canadians
    Through interviews with four second generation Canadians, this Major Research Paper explores identity and belonging among second generation children (aged 18-30) of racialized immigrants in Toronto, Canada. Primary research questions include: (i) How do these individuals describe their identity? (ii) Do they have a sense of belonging in Canada; why or why not? (iii) Do they experience discrimination based on their ethno-racial identity? (iv) How does this impact their self-identification as Canadian and sense of belonging? The findings show that second generation racialized Canadians appear to hold multiple identities, forming a hyphenated or hybridized identity in which racialized identity and language/accent figure prominently. They also appear to have situational identities, with their identities shifting depending on the following various situational factors: (i) their location (including the country, city, and environment they are in), (ii) the individuals they are surrounded by including who they are speaking to, and (iii) the goal(s) of the situation.
    “Shall we put the heart in now?” A comparative analysis between creature features and their single reel abridgements
    “Shall we put the heart in now?” A comparative analysis between creature features and their single reel abridgements
    Single reel abridgements of commercial feature films are entering moving image archives because home movie collections that contain them are slowly increasing in archival representation. The abridged commercial films occupy a liminal space in between sustained preservation efforts that focus on studio films and the current interest paid to preserving home movies. As a result, the abridged films are being neglected. The films’ liminal status stems from a dearth of information regarding their relationship to the original films and a clear definition of what they are narratively and aesthetically. After analyzing fourteen abridged horror and science fiction films found in the Ryerson Moving Image collection and comparing them to their original counterparts this project finds that the abridged films are heavily altered in terms of narrative, characters, and causality, and should be treated as individual objects instead of derivative works, thus absolving their liminal status.
    “The many tinted woods”: building online teacher resources with photography collections
    “The many tinted woods”: building online teacher resources with photography collections
    This thesis aims to answer the question: how can photography collections be used as interpretative tools to build visual and media literacy skills through creative learning opportunities aligned with the Ontario education curriculum? The project has two components: an analytical paper and a teacher resource – created according to the Art Gallery of Ontario standard – to introduce teachers to teaching with photographs through interdisciplinary lessons in the visual culture of Canada from 1860 to the early 1900s. An analysis of the Ontario curriculum documents, identifying both limitations and benefits, and aims to support grade 7 and 8 teachers in the classroom are included. Using Canadian photographs from the AGO’s collection unites arts education and visual literacy with core academic subjects by prompting students, through a range of activities to engage with the subjects, aesthetic elements, history and materials of photographic media, and thus to interpret daily life at this time.
    “This Prodigious Frightful Fall”: An Exploration of Tourist Images of Niagara Falls in Stereography and on Instagram
    “This Prodigious Frightful Fall”: An Exploration of Tourist Images of Niagara Falls in Stereography and on Instagram
    This thesis explores the development of tourist photography through stereography and Instagram utilizing Niagara Falls stereographs from three collections ranging in date from 1850-1905 and Instagram images geotagged to Prospect Point, Niagara Falls, New York, all posted in the same twenty-four hours from August 6-7, 2016. First, a literature survey explores the history of photography at Niagara Falls, the circulation of tourist imagery, and social media and the networked image. It then moves on to an early history of photography at Niagara Falls with an emphasis on stereographs. It continues into a brief history of social media and an explanation of the inner workings of Instagram. Finally, it concludes with comparisons of aesthetic choices, access, and circulation in stereographs and Instagram, all using the case study images. This thesis argues that Instagram follows the same photographic tradition as stereographs and serves many of the same purposes in tourist photography
    “This is how I learn": children's perceptions of their experiences in two different learning environments
    “This is how I learn": children's perceptions of their experiences in two different learning environments
    This qualitative study explored five children’s perspectives of their experiences in both a university laboratory school and in their current public school setting. Semi-structured conversations and child-produced drawings provided children with an opportunity, not only to express their thoughts and opinions, but also aided in establishing children as competent informants on their own lived experiences. Employing the ‘new’ sociology of childhood, critical studies, and a child rights-based perspective as theoretical frameworks, an overarching theme of power and hierarchy was established throughout the children’s descriptions of their experiences. More specifically, this central theme is explored through the children’s discussions and descriptions of: space, pedagogical practice, peer relationships, rules, and their decision-making and influence on curriculum. These themes, however, present themselves differently in the children’s implicit and explicit comparisons of the different learning environments. In conclusion, recommendations for future practices and areas for further research are discussed. Keywords: children’s perception of education, ‘new’ sociology of childhood, critical pedagogy, kindergarten, university laboratory schools