Critical Sociology MRP
Students currently enrolled in the Critical Sociology graduate program here at Brock University will be required to submit an electronic copy of their final Major Research Paper to this repository as part of graduation requirements.
If you are logged in please click on 'Submit a New Item to this Collection' to proceed.Once your MRP has been accepted in the Repository you will receive an email confirmation along with a link to your work
Can the Finnish Way to Reduce Homelessness Work in Canada? The Limits of Power Resource Approaches in a Time of Economic CrisisWidespread homelessness is at crisis levels amongst advanced capitalist nations, indicating that the promise of neoliberal prosperity is deeply flawed. While Canada’s Liberal tradition is ineffective in combatting homelessness, Finland, a Social Democratic tradition, has successfully decreased its homeless population. This research paper evaluates the possibility of policy adoption between liberal and social democratic traditions to reduce homelessness by employing a political-economy-informed, comparative welfare state analysis. I argue that we must proceed with caution as policies do not always travel well because of the varying political and economic contexts arising from the histories of class struggle. I also argue that policies to solve homelessness are relatively limited because of the crisis-prone and contradictory nature of capitalism and the subsequent welfare state. My findings suggest that Finland’s robust working-class power resources, expressed in parliamentary and extra-parliamentary power, have been vital in homelessness reduction policy development but will inevitably meet their limits.
Globalization, Neoliberalism, and International Student Enrolments in Higher Education: Expanding Global Interconnectedness and Academic CommodificationThe last 20 years has witnessed a dramatic surge in international student enrolments around the world. Canada has been among the countries that have experienced some of the most significant increases international enrolments in college and university postsecondary educational institutions. This major research paper explores this trend and critically reviews the growing body of literature that seeks to explain this growth phenomenon. While the growth of the number students travelling the world in search of educational opportunities is, indeed, a global trend, the movement is largely from key developing nations to a smaller number of English-speaking, Western, wealthy capitalist countries. While for some scholars and commentators this movement is understood as part of the internationalization of all nations as part of the process of globalization, others see it as imbricated in the neoliberal project that has contributed to the corporatization of higher education and the commodification of knowledge within Western, capitalist nations. I review this debate with specific reference to data and examples from the province of Ontario, Canada.
Health Impacts of Local and Chinese Small-Scale Gold Mining Operations on Ghanaian CommunitiesThe influx of Chinese miners in Ghana’s small-scale gold mining sector has encouraged a large body of research examining the deleterious impacts of gold mining on the environment. However, there is sparse literature concentrating on the health impacts of gold mining. This research therefore examines the health impacts of local and Chinese small-scale gold mining operations on Ghanaian communities. The research employs both qualitative and quantitative data and utilizes the theory of environmental justice as the framework for analyzing and creating ways to explore the health impacts of local and Chinese small-scale gold mining operations. The study found that both large-scale and small-scale gold mining are highly associated with environmental pollution in mining communities. The Chinese introduction of high-tech machines to quicken the production of gold has exacerbated the rate of environmental pollution in mining communities. Also, both scales of gold mining, in addition to Chinese mining activities, have negatively impacted the health of mining communities. Inhabitants of mining communities bear the brunt of poor sanitation, pollution, diseases, injuries and deaths. The research illuminates the environmental and health impacts of gold mining engendered by both local and Chinese miners in Ghanaian communities.
The Sakawa Boys: A Critique of Policing of Cybercrime in Ghana.Cybercrime, especially cybercrime related to online romance scams has increased exponentially in Ghana (Alhassan & Ridwan, 2021; Baylon & Antwi-Boasiako, 2016). As a result, the government of Ghana has deployed various traditional policing strategies to control this form of crime. However, these traditional policing strategies remain repressive and reactive and are unable to control Sakawa- related activities effectively in the country. This paper draws upon a Human Security framework as a reflective of a non-traditional policing strategy to tackle the root form of this crime which is mainly poverty created by the country’s implementation of the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) and neoliberal economics
Exploration of how Medicaid has limited access to healthcare services for transgender individuals in the United States of AmericaWhen laws are enacted, the state paints the picture that it is for the betterment of everyone. Before now, advocates clamored for laws to protect the rights of gender non-conforming people. When these laws were finally made, the states were applauded for having these people in mind. People do not realize that the supposedly 'best' laws, when further analyzed and scrutinized, show that they tend to favor some people more than others. This paper exposes the inequities in the health system by analyzing how the Medicaid program in the United States of America has limited trans individuals from accessing health care services and how the woes of some individuals are further deepened because of their race, age, sex and income. The paper also proposes some recommendations on how the Medicaid program can widen its scope of support.