Theses

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  • Writing intellectual disability:  glimpses into precarious processes or re/making a cultural phenomenon
    Writing intellectual disability: glimpses into precarious processes or re/making a cultural phenomenon
    We make each other mean through precarious processes of engagement. This dissertation posits intellectual disability as a modernist subject category characterized by un-belonging and a presumed lack of normative expression. The author takes a hesitant, interpretive, and phenomenological approach to confronting the question of what it means to re/make intellectual disability as presence and process rather than as problem. The researcher engages with intellectual disability by introducing expressive writing as method under a feminist post structuralist framework of exploratory, relational ethics. In doing so, this project introduces the concepts of wonderment and triple-labelling to the fields of cultural studies and critical disability studies. This work advocates for a reorientation toward meaning-making and research-based engagement with intellectual disability as cultural, contextual, and relational phenomenon that remains unsettled as it situates researchers at a perceived limit of knowledge. This dissertation privileges process over resolution. The writing launches from an affect-laden epistemology of wonderment, and thus struggles to resolve its own ethical and methodological uncertainty as it attempts to center intellectual disability without (completely)privileging normative ways of un/knowing. This approach allows that the body is implicated in uncertain discursive processes that re-construct and circulate meanings about the body, the self,and the Other. Then, relying on Foucault’s conceptions of power and knowledge and Snyder and Mitchell's cultural location of disability framework, the study describes Western cultural memory: processes of mind/body splitting and subject-category building traceable through esoteric pre-modernity, eugenic modernity, and the post-identity politics of Davis’s dismodernity. A discussion of research ethics follows, which challenges rational methodological conceptions of intellectual disability that rely on preconceived notions of vulnerability. Before describing expressive writing as a primary research method, the author also makes a case for engaging with triple-labeled people (those labeled disabled, vulnerable, and incompetent) by writing in-relation-to, privileging silence and absence over “giving voice,” engaging in unfamiliarity and untranslatability, and attending to “the space between” the self and the Other.This writing uses reflexive vignettes and critical analysis to lead readers toward the researcher’s final phenomenological reflections on experiences with triple-labeled people writing in a Toronto day program.
    Xstreamulator: a rich media webcasting application for lectures and events
    Xstreamulator: a rich media webcasting application for lectures and events
    Xstreamulator is a .NET based web casting application that utilizes the Microsoft Windows Media Server to broadcast classroom lectures and events. Uniquely, the application supports the synchronized delivery of captured bitmap content (slides), which are displayed in an ASPIHTML based cross-browser viewing environment. At present, Xstreamulator supports bitmap slide capturing from PowerPoint presentations, computer desktops, images, web pages and external VGA sources. Additional capture capabilities are currently in development. Although Xstreamulator has been used extensively for live webcasting, it can also be employed to record webcasts for distribution through ondemand delivery or removable media. In contrast to commercial solutions, Xstreamulator's live webcasting functionality is not constrained to traditional academic settings (i.e., classrooms). Indeed, many instructors at Ryerson University have successfully employed Xstreamulator to web cast lectures from their office or home. In addition, Xstreamulator has been employed effectively in the delivery of events, lectures, symposiums and conferences. Xstreamulator has from the outset been designed to operate reliably in diverse hardware environments. For example, the application can be installed on personal computers, classroom presentation systems, or portable encoding "stations". Thus, by leveraging the existing computer infrastructure at Ryerson University, it has been possible to circumvent the acquisition of costly commercial web casting systems. Xstreamulator's comprehensive content delivery approach and hardware neutrality has addressed the entire range of webcast requirements within the University environment in very cost effective and scalable manner. Xstreamulator's development process has been driven by the philosophy of participatory design (PD). Students, faculty and staff at Ryerson University have generously donated their time to test Xstreamulator prototypes, and have contributed significantly to the evolution of the application's user interface and functionality. Therefore, the Xstreamulator project demonstrates the significant advantages of implementing participatory design goals in the development of rich media webcasting solutions. Indeed, while the technological achievements of the project are noteworthy, they could have only been achieved in an environment that fostered collaboration at all levels. The development of an in-house web casting solution requires a commitment of development personnel and technical resources. However, the cost of providing these inhouse resources will be offset by reduced webcasting costs over the long-term. Additionally, applications like Xstreamulator can be rapidly employed to generate webcasting revenue from university events (e.g., conferences). In summary, as the use of Xstreamulator at Ryerson University has eliminated a dependence on commercial solutions, it has been possible to re-assign these cost savings to the design of some of the most powerful event webcasting systems in North America.
    YOUTUBE AS A DESTINATION MARKETING TOOL: A Canadian Content Analysis
    YOUTUBE AS A DESTINATION MARKETING TOOL: A Canadian Content Analysis
    This study investigated the adoption and usage of YouTube as a destination marketing tool amongst Canadian destination marketing organizations [DMOs]. A content analysis approach was employed to analyze a sample group of 1000 videos uploaded by five provinces and three major cities. Two coding schemes were developed in order to classify each video by their content and production. The findings of this study provides insight as to how DMOs are using YouTube to manage their destination image. Results indicate that there are variations between the marketing strategies of DMOs. This could be attributed to the lack of information on how to effectively use YouTube to market travel destinations. This study attempts to bridge these gaps, by providing a clear indication as to what type of content is generating the greatest engagement rate.
    Yield stress of concentrated wheat straw suspensions
    Yield stress of concentrated wheat straw suspensions
    The yield stress of concentrated wheat straw suspensions was measured by a vane with a Bohlin rheometer. Wheat straw fibers were made by grinding (wet and dry) wheat straw and separated into four sizes by sieving (8, 12, 20, and 40 mesh). The yield stress was found to increase with concentration as well as with the size of the wheat straw fibers. The yield stress data fitted to power law equation proposed by Kerekes et al. (1985) for pulp fibers. It was found that only 40 mesh size wheat straw fibers agreed with the relation. Effect of stress ramp rate was studied on 5% (20 mesh) w/v, wheat straw suspension. It was observed that stress ramp rate had an effect on measured yield stress value. No yield stress was observed in the suspension of 5% (40 mesh) w/v, due to sedimentation of wheat straw fibers. For effective utilization and mixing of enzymes with wheat straw fibers during hydrolysis, knowledge of yield stress of suspension was important.
    Yo Cuento* Latin American Immigrant Children Tell Their Stories
    Yo Cuento* Latin American Immigrant Children Tell Their Stories
    Despite considerable interest in studying immigrant children in Canada, few studies include immigrant children as study participants. This study involved 10 children born in Latin American who have lived in Canada for five years or less. These children were between the ages of nine and 11 - five boys and five girls. Five children were from Colombia, two from Venezuela, one from Mexico, one from Bolivia and one from Ecuador. I conducted individual research sessions where children and I drew, wrote and conversed. Children drew the most significant events in their migration process and wrote short narratives. The main findings from this study include the impact of grandmother/grandchild separation on immigrant children, children’s multiple transitions across countries and within Canada, children’s worries due to language barriers, and the value children place on peer cultural brokering. The paper concludes with recommendations and a reminder of the importance of conducting research with children. Key words: Immigrant children, Latin America, loss, residential mobility, cultural brokering., *Yo cuento is Spanish for I narrate/I matter
    Yonge and great:  an assessment of Yonge as a great street
    Yonge and great: an assessment of Yonge as a great street
    Some streets are better than others. Some are ordinary, and others are great. This paper explores what makes Great Streets and the key built form features. A case study analysis was conducted and was guided by an evaluative framework based on Allan Jacobs eight Requirements and five Criteria for Great Streets. The evaluative framework help assessed the degree to which Times Square and Yonge St - between Queen and College - met the Requirements and Criteria for Great Streets. The discussion demonstrates how improvement to the physical Requirements of streets can result in noticeable improvement in its’ function. While Yonge is Toronto’s ‘main street’ the evaluation identified areas for enhancement. Specifically, in order for Yonge to be a Great Street, future planning and design strategies should consider the following three Requirements: (1) Places to walk with some leisure; (2) Physical comfort; and (3) Quality Design.
    You Are Here: a Review of Wayfinding Strategies for the Toronto Transit Commission
    You Are Here: a Review of Wayfinding Strategies for the Toronto Transit Commission
    Barriers on the Toronto’s Transit Commission (TTC) network are driving the need for design and wayfinding innovation. This brief introduction examines the increasing issues of wayfinding, attitude, flow and culture on public transit. Despite recent efforts, the TTC still need to continue updating wayfinding signs. Design and wayfinding solutions are a moderate intervention that can address these issues and improve overall travel experience. In the following sections, an overview of the methods provide the approaches and boundaries of this study that will look at different wayfinding strategies.
    You're not welcome here:  examining the intersections of migration and neoliberal immigration policy in Canada
    You're not welcome here: examining the intersections of migration and neoliberal immigration policy in Canada
    This analysis examines the intersections of migration and neoliberal immigration policy in Canada through a political economy lens. It looks particularly at the increasing phenomenon of human smuggling and it asks how the emergence of neoliberalism has shaped Canadian immigration policy and how has this impacted working peoples’ lives and forced them to become migrants. Canada increasingly treats migrants with suspicion and seeks to prevent the less “profitable” ones from entering. Today’s policies are the result of a historical process of entrenching a North-South divide as some sort of unavoidable truth, and the fruits of the global North as requiring protection from “needy” and “lazy” poor in the global South. It is this paradigm which the following analysis seeks to problematize and deconstruct by examining the historical roots of the North-South divide.
    Young children’s trust in the false testimony of ingroup versus outgroup speakers.
    Young children’s trust in the false testimony of ingroup versus outgroup speakers.
    The present research explores whether young children display different levels of trust in the testimony of speakers from their own social group (ingroups) versus another social group (outgroups). Three- and 4-year-old children watched through a window as an adult hid a toy in one of three containers. The adult then told the child that she had put the toy in a container different from the one where it was actually hidden (i.e., false testimony). At the end the child was asked to retrieve the toy. The adult was either a Caucasian, native English speaker ingroup) or an Asian English speaker with a noticeable foreign accent (outgroup). Four-year-old children were credulous to the false testimony of the ingroup speaker, despite their firsthand observations, but were skeptical and relied on their own observations when the false testimony was provided by the outgroup speaker. In contrast, 3-year-old children remained credulous to the false testimony of both speakers. These findings were discussed in relation to children’s early preferences for ingroup members and the developmental shift in skepticism displayed by 4-year-old, but not 3-year-old children. This research will make a unique contribution to our understanding of how young children selectively learn from other people and why they remain credulous to some speakers, but not to others.
    Youth’s Perceptions Of Childhood: Young People’s Participation In Envisioning Community Change
    Youth’s Perceptions Of Childhood: Young People’s Participation In Envisioning Community Change
    It is vitally important that Indigenous Youth are provided a forum to express and share their unique expertise and profound knowledge on all matters that affect and impact their lives. Through the use of photo-voice, this qualitative study provided the space for eleven youth from the Northern Village of La Loche, Saskatchewan to share their perspectives on their community, their lives, and how childhood should be conceptualized. Employing the theoretical frameworks of Sociology of Childhood, children’s rights, Indigenous culturally responsive method and a desire-centred research framework, four over-arching themes emerged; the importance of: i) relationships; ii) health and well-being; iii) knowledge; and iv) community and culture. The youth in this study demonstrated their enormous capacity to identify and share their unique perspectives on their community and proficiencies in assessing their community’s strengths and challenges – further demonstrating that youth are not merely passive subjects of social structures, but competent citizens able to contribute to change in authentic ways.
    You’re not gay enough: the experiences and challenges of LGBTQ refugees during the asylum determination process in Toronto
    You’re not gay enough: the experiences and challenges of LGBTQ refugees during the asylum determination process in Toronto
    From much of the previous literature, it has been assumed that the IRB refugee determination system is inherently unfair to LGBTQ claimants, and that it demands queer refugees disclose a great deal of intimate personal information to meet heteronormative markers of gayness. Although these experiences still occur for queer asylum seekers today, the participants in this research pointed towards a shift in the IRB claim process. Overall, the participants recognized that the system is made and maintained by those who view the world through a heteronormative lens. Ultimately, the research pointed towards the fact that claimants have adapted to meet the expectations of the IRB’s LGBTQ refugee determination system. Through the sharing of information amongst fellow claimants, service providers, and legal counsel, queer refugees have become outstanding social actors who have learned how to perform their ‘queerness’ to gain a positive IRB result that ensures their protection from their countries of origin. It is important to note that this does not mean that anyone who wishes to seek asylum in Canada can do so under the guise of LGBTQ identities. Instead, this category of refugees has always been and will remain valid, and claimants have learned to perform the aspects of their identity which meet the stereotypical demands of the IRB and other heteronormative Canadian systems. Key words: LGBTQ, LGBTQ refugees, LGBTQ asylum-seekers, refugee claimants, IRB, Canada, Toronto, immigration, SOGIE, social actors, heteronormative, waiting
    You’ve got mail: an analysis of direct mail and direct email fundraising letters
    You’ve got mail: an analysis of direct mail and direct email fundraising letters
    In recent years, online fundraising (e-philanthropy) has grown to become a critical component of charitable fundraising in the Western world. The rapid development and proliferation of e-philanthropy means the need to critically investigate digital spaces as distinct communicative entities has now become necessary. Research in the field has revealed that digital documents differ from their hardcopy equivalents in terms of how they are consumed, since readers’ expectations vary when reading online vs. offline documents. The following research paper explores the direct mail fundraising letters and email appeal campaigns of three non-profit organizations operating in Toronto, Canada. Using Karen A. Schriver’s model for Document Design and Vijay Bhatia and Thomas A. Upton’s seven-move discourse structure for the direct mail letter genre, the goal of this MRP is to compare and contrast the traditional direct mail letter to its digital counterpart in order to identify the differences between the written rhetorical and visual document design strategy applied to each medium. A comparison between the printed and digital formats of the direct mail letters will hopefully provide a better understanding of how the traditional direct mail fundraising letter should be tailored for successful online consumption.