Theses

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  • "You Have to Have Tough Skin": The Impact of Social Exclusion on Immigrant Mothers of Children with Disabilities
    "You Have to Have Tough Skin": The Impact of Social Exclusion on Immigrant Mothers of Children with Disabilities
    This exploratory research considers the way gender, racialized ethnicity, and disability, as markers of difference, contribute to the social exclusion experienced by immigrant mothers as primary caregivers of child(ren) with a disability. Interviews were held with eight immigrant mothers in the Greater Toronto Area exploring barriers to accessing informal, formal networks of support, and the resulting impact on their lives. The findings include a lack of ethno-specific and extended family support as well as a lack of accessible, transparent government, social service information, and service provision. Other issues concern language, equity and access to services, impact on personal health, caregiving for aging parents, and future concerns for their children’s short and long-term welfare. Recommendations are based on a social inclusion framework of principles, which are relevant to policy makers, service providers, educators, and members of society.
    "You have the right to remain silent, so why are you talking?" : interrogation rights, decision making, and the availability heuristic
    "You have the right to remain silent, so why are you talking?" : interrogation rights, decision making, and the availability heuristic
    A police interrogation is one mechanism by which a false confession is sometimes obtained, which in turn can lead to a wrongful conviction. Given the severity of this consequence, rights for criminal suspects have been developed to protect the innocent. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these rights has been called into question, as there is evidence that most people do not fully understand their rights, and the rate at which people choose to waive their rights is extremely high. The current study examined factors relating to people's interpretation of their rights when asked to speak with police. It was found that participants retained their rights at higher rates than expected. In addition, the results indicate that it is possible to affect waiver rates by manipulating the availability of information relating to negative or positive interrogation outcomes. This could have practical implications for how criminal suspects' rights are administered.
    "You told me I couldn't play there":  an autoethnographic exploration of children's outdoor play
    "You told me I couldn't play there": an autoethnographic exploration of children's outdoor play
    Playing outdoors is an essential component of childhood yet that play is often bound by adult perceptions of safety, risk, and children’s capabilities. Research reflects the positive value that playing freely outdoors has in terms of children’s overall development. However, literature also highlights the impact of a societal focus on safety, which can limit young people’s access to the outdoors and the types of play that they seem to enjoy. The tension that can exist between pedagogical practices and trusting children to be safe plays out within the structure and format of this paper as the motifs of bounding and resistance that can exist in both research and play are unearthed. Drawing on autoethnographic and narrative approaches I explore, share, and reflect upon outdoor play experiences from my own childhood as a means to gain a deeper understanding of how children were and are positioned in society and communities.
    # Pillar of Defense: Using Social Media to Manage Impressions of Conflict: A Case Study of the November 2012 Israel-Hamas conflict
    # Pillar of Defense: Using Social Media to Manage Impressions of Conflict: A Case Study of the November 2012 Israel-Hamas conflict
    Threats to reputation can destroy a brand. Communicating effectively during a conflict can help to manage negative impressions that expose brands to reputation risk. This is important now more than ever as organizations—and nations—turn to Twitter to address various publics. The rigid 140-character structure of Twitter thus necessitates the creation of sound bites that act as productive texts to address multiple rhetorical objectives simultaneously. An examination of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Twitter account through sentiment and content analysis shows evidence that the Force took a significantly defensive approach to impression management of Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. There is evidence that Israel sought to re-frame public impression of its military involvement from aggressor to defender in the armed conflict. Codes discovered in the analysis suggest that the IDF tried to justify force, avoid responsibility and establish legitimacy of its operations.
    #FollowUs: Brand connectivity and marketing techniques that attract millennials on Instagram
    #FollowUs: Brand connectivity and marketing techniques that attract millennials on Instagram
    The increasing digitization of contemporary media and culture -- particularly in the West -- is changing how companies market themselves to their target audiences. As the millennial generation increases its online presence and its use of mobile digital technologies, companies whose main consumers lie within this demographic are having to shift their marketing tactics to become more technologically- and mobile-friendly. The world of social media, in particular, has become the second (virtual) home for much of the millennial population. How they dress, where they go, and what they eat are all becoming increasingly impacted by the companies, brands, people, and trends they “follow” online. In this Major Research Project (MRP) I will focus on the ways companies are marketing to millennials by focusing on the ways two clothing brands favoured by millennials are marketing and branding themselves on Instagram. I demonstrate that while these companies’ brand values may be exceedingly different from one another, their social media/Instagram strategies are surprisingly similar. That is, I will argue that these two clothing brands follow a distinctly similar set of social media marketing techniques in order to bring the best shopping experience through the use of images and captions -- into the digital world and to their millennial audiences. In other words, by adhering to a sort of social media orthodoxy, these brands are able to create a stronger connection between themselves and their millennial generation of followers.
    #JustDoIt: Brand-to-Consumer Interaction via Twitter
    #JustDoIt: Brand-to-Consumer Interaction via Twitter
    Nike’s “Possibilities” campaign has become a prime example for social media adoption in marketing. In August 2013, Nike had asked its consumers to redefine “Just Do It” by taking to Twitter and sharing their athletic achievements under the #JustDoIt hashtag. The iconic slogan has since then evolved from a mere promotional message to a trending Twitter topic that continues to engage consumers today. By examining Nike’s #JustDoIt Twitter conversation, marketing professionals and scholars alike can develop a more informed understanding of how Twitter facilitates interaction between a brand and its consumers. The paper aims to explore how Twitter can be used to develop and maintain relationships between businesses and consumers by examining the interactions within Nike’s #JustDoIt conversation. Using Bakhtin’s (1981) notion of heteroglossia and Zappavigna’s (2011) interpretation of the imagined audience and ambient affiliation, this paper will conceptualize the interactions that took place and demonstrate their applications to the practice of social business (Rajagopal, 2013) and Integrated Marketing Communication (Kapoor, Jayasimha, and Sadh, 2013). The research questions are: (1) How does #JustDoIt facilitate interaction between Nike and its consumers? (2) What are Twitter users saying in Nike’s #JustDoIt conversation? (3) To what ends does #JustDoIt serve in Nike’s overall mission? Heteroglossia, the imagined audience, and ambient affiliation are all concepts that can be used to describe user interactions within Twitter hashtags. For businesses, these terms provide a framework for better understanding how branded content can reach audiences on Twitter, thus informing strategies that seek to engage consumers and spark conversations.
    #Work! The Effect of Hashtag Campaigns: a Modern Form of Free Labour
    #Work! The Effect of Hashtag Campaigns: a Modern Form of Free Labour
    This MRP will attempt to explain social media today by applying Smythe’s (2006) research on audience commodity and free labour regarding television and broadcast to hashtag campaigns on Instagram, such as Coca-Cola’s #ShareaCoke, and Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins. This MRP will support literature pertaining to audience commodity and free labour, the monetization of user-generated content via social media marketing, and the nature of the audience. Through a mixed methods approach, the campaigns will be analyzed in hopes of discovering how social media has revolutionized the role of the audience, which has shifted drastically due to the participatory nature of the Internet—thus, demonstrating the transformation of the audience as users to producers to advertisers of user-generated content created for hashtag campaigns on Instagram. Ultimately, this MRP will seek to demonstrate that this transformation has resulted in exploitation of users, and have revolutionized the model of free labour and commodity as outline by Smythe (2006).
    'I do' belong to you : debating the vulnerability of Filipino mail-order brides in Canada
    'I do' belong to you : debating the vulnerability of Filipino mail-order brides in Canada
    This qualitative essay examines to what extent mail-order brides are a vulnerable population, concentrating on Filipino mail-order brides in Canada. The literature on mail-order brides has generally been polarized between two positions, one that tries to victimize all mail-order brides and one that tries to presume that all mail-order brides are in control of their own destinies. This paper aims to asses these polarized positions on the basis of empirical information proided in the literature and two interviews done with representatives from organizations that work with the Filipino community in Canada.
    'Natural Conservatives?': Examining the Voting Associations Of Ethnic And Visible Minorty Communities In The Toronto CMA, 2007 to 2011
    'Natural Conservatives?': Examining the Voting Associations Of Ethnic And Visible Minorty Communities In The Toronto CMA, 2007 to 2011
    The Conservative Party of Canada attributed its successful breakthrough in the Toronto area during the 2011 Canadian federal election to their engagement of ethnic and visible minority voters, whereas in the past, these voters were associated with the Liberal party. This research study uses spatial and statistical analyses to test patterns of association between the electoral support for the three major parties and presence of ethnic and visible minority communities. The research uses data from the 2006 Census of Canada, as well as the voting results of the 2011 and 2008 federal elections, the 2011 and 2007 Ontario provincial elections and the 2010 Toronto mayoral election. The findings suggest that non-European origin ethnic and visible minority communities are associated with the Liberal party at the federal and provincial levels, but the opposite is true at the municipal level, and the federal Liberals are haemorrhaging support from ethnic and visible minority communities to the Conservatives and NDP. The victories of the federal Conservatives may instead be associated with other factors like vote splitting, low voter turnout, and divisions between urban and suburban areas., Title should read: 'Natural Conservatives?': Examining the Voting Associations Of Ethnic And Visible Minority Communities In The Toronto CMA, 2007 to 2011.
    'Positive' images?: a critical examination of queer visibility in contemporary popular culture.
    'Positive' images?: a critical examination of queer visibility in contemporary popular culture.
    "The past five decades have seen a marked increase in attention to, and representations of, queer people in mainstream popular culture. Within the last ten years, several films and television programs featuring gay men and lesbians have garnered critical acclaim and high ratings among diverse audiences and myriad companies have incorporated queer imagery into their advertising campaigns. Despite fervent protests from socially conservative organizations, this trend shows no signs of abating."--Introduction.
    'This may not be represented in the curriculum documents’, an analysis of early childhood education curriculum from Ontario college programs.
    'This may not be represented in the curriculum documents’, an analysis of early childhood education curriculum from Ontario college programs.
    This study examines the way in which Early Childhood Educators trained in Ontario college programs are prepared to work with queer populations upon entering the field. This study used post-structuralist, queer feminist, and critical disability theoretical frameworks while analysing the data. A content analysis, informed by critical discourse analysis, was used to assess program documents. Course descriptions from ECE program websites were collected, as well as a total of 33 course outlines from 11 different Ontario college ECE programs, and 9 textbooks identified through the course outlines. Queer content was found to be absent from all but 5 course outlines and 4 textbooks. The need to have queer issues included formally in Ontario ECE curriculum, the othering of queer populations, and the erasure of queer identities are discussed. Key
    'Victims' of the status quo: Canada's ongoing marginalization of sex workers.
    'Victims' of the status quo: Canada's ongoing marginalization of sex workers.
    The conflict between a sex worker's natural right to dignity, and the scope of control she can exert over her own body - her rightful property - plays a central part in much of the research and debate surrounding the commercialization of sex, and there is little consensus as to which natural right is of greater fundamental importance. This conflict over the morality and legal rights of sex workers is plainly evident in Canada's own treatment of the issue; spanning a period of over twenty-five years, the research and reports on prostitution commissioned by the federal government constitute several thousand pages of empirical evidence documenting the harm caused by the criminalization of prostitution, yet no changes have been made to the country's Criminal Code provisions since 1986. Throughout these government reports and the testimony of dozens of participants in the 2005 hearings held by the country's Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, the same conflict of language and ideology is repeated; regardless of the time and location, conversations about prostitution within Canada follow an almost predictable pattern of spinning wheels and little progress. In light of the new opportunity to effect change in Canada's approach to prostitution law, this paper examines the signs and significations evinced in the language of Canada's present laws, and traces the legislative history of sex work in the country as well as the cyclical nature of the observations and conclusions drawn by the many federally-appointed committees charged with addressing the topic. Select witness testimony from hearings conducted by the most recent committee to address the state of prostitution, the Subcommittee on Solicitation Laws, is also reproduced and analyzed. Using the opposing perspectives of victim and rights discourse as a loose framework, particular analytical focus is placed on the language used and ideological beliefs expressed within both the formal reports and testimony. Finally, the core conflicts revealed in Canada's hearings and formal reports on prostitution are placed within a larger body of theory on human agency and the physical body for the purpose of emphasizing the unequivocal necessity of respecting sex workers' autonomy, first and foremost, in any future determination of sex work's place within the social and legal fabric of the country.