Now showing items 21-40 of 54

    • Back to the Garten: Inquiry-Based Learning in an Outdoor Kindergarten Classroom

      MacDonald, Kate; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program
      Informed by alternative learning theories that apply a constructivist approach to education, this research study explores one form of experiential, hands on education; inquiry-based learning. Grounded in the new sociology of childhood, which values the voices of young children, this study examines how inquiry-based learning is experienced by kindergarten students in an outdoor classroom in Fonthill, Ontario. This research expands on current relevant literature to understand kindergarteners’ experiences in an outdoor inquiry-based classroom through their first hand reports, accompanied by observations made by their teachers. Based on a constructivist framework, this study employs a phenomographic methodology consisting of semi-structured, participant guided interviews, and inductive data analysis involving a cross-comparison of the transcripts across kindergartener and teacher participants. Three major themes emerged from the data in this study: (a) student-led experiences in the outdoor classroom; (b) lessons experienced in the outdoor classroom; and (c) boundaries to learning in the outdoor classroom. Responses from participants in this study raise questions for future research regarding the use of informal learning in the public education system specifically in regards to the roles of teachers, the structures of learning spaces, and the experiences of diverse populations. This study supports the notion that outdoor, inquiry-based learning can be one way to engage students in their own knowledge construction, demonstrating a connection between this model and the values of social justice education.
    • ‘Designer Vaginas': The Representation of Female Genitals on Canadian Cosmetic Surgeons' Websites

      Stephenson, Zipparah; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program
      This thesis critically examines the online marketing tactics of 10 (English language) Canadian cosmetic surgery clinics’ websites that offer Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery (FGCS), specifically, labiaplasty (labial reduction) and vaginoplasty (vaginal tightening). Drawing on a qualitative Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (MCDA) and a feminist-informed social constructionist framework (Lazar, 2007), I examine how FGCS discourses reiterate and reinforce heteronormative sexual scripts for women, and impose restrictive models of femininity through the pathologization of genital diversity and the appropriation of postfeminist and neoliberal discourses of individual choice and empowerment. I explore feminist analyses of the links between FGCS and contemporary Western women’s postfeminist subjectivity, and the reconfiguration of women’s sexual agency, to better understand what these contemporary shifts may mean for women’s sexual anxiety and expression. My analysis highlights several discourses that organize the online marketing material of Canadian FGCS websites, including: the pathologization of genital diversity; restrictive models of femininity; heteronormative sexual scripts; neoliberal and post-feminist rhetorics of individual choice and empowerment; and psychological and sexual transformation. Overall, these discourses undermine acceptance of women’s genital diversity, legitimize the FGCS industry and frame FGCS as the only viable solution to alleviate women’s genital and sexual distress despite the lack of evidence regarding the long-term benefits and risks of these procedures, and the recommendations against FGCS by professional medical organizations.
    • "They're trying to trick us!": Making sense of anti-oppressive children's literature in the elementary school classroom

      Paterson, Kate; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program
      This study examines how children make sense of “anti-oppressive” children’s literature in the classroom, specifically, books that integrate and promote positive portrayals of gender non-conformity and sexual diversity. Through a feminist poststructural lens, I conducted ethnographic observations and reading groups with twenty students in a grade one/two classroom to explore how children engage with these storybooks. I further explored how the use of these books in the classroom might help to mediate and negotiate existing gendered and heteronormative beliefs and practices within educational settings. The books used in this study challenge oppressive gender and sexuality regimes within mainstream children’s literature that have traditionally served to marginalize and silence gender non-conforming and LGBTQ individuals. Responses from participants in this study aid in questioning how dominant discourses of gender and sexuality are produced and reinforced, as well as where we may find opportunities for change and reform within the elementary school classroom.
    • Anachronistic Me: An Autoethnographic Account of Recovery through Volunteerism

      Penner, Joyce; Penner, Joyce; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2014-04-29)
      The purpose of this autoethnography was to reflect upon the ways in which my recovery was aided by the personal connections made while volunteering in a homeless shelter. Congruent with autoethnographic best practice, data were collected through a variety of means, including: journaling, field notes, participant observation, and collection of artifacts. An autoethnographic narrative emerged out of the analysis of data detailing my recuperative journey. Results indicated that my time spent volunteering at the shelter: (a) fostered a sense of Community, (b) made me aware of Realizations that broadened my perspective, and (c) aided in motivating me to be Intentional about Improving my Life. These three themes proved to be important factors in my recovery process. This thesis will inform social science researchers and health advocates by making a contribution to the growing body of literature regarding recovery.
    • Indigenous Language Reclamation: The Learners Perspective

      Sherry-Kirk, Laurie; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2014-03-24)
      ABSTRACT This study explored the link between learning an Indigenous language and the meanings second language learners attach to their language recovery experiences. The study delves into the factors that motivate, enhance and serve as barriers to individual language revitalization efforts. With the goal of reasserting an Indigenous world view, the traditional teachings of the Ojibwe medicine wheel were combined with the lessons of the seven Grandfathers to provide a methodological basis for conducting ethical research with and for the benefit of First Nations people. Within the context of our relationships with self, community, spirit and environment, the pairing of Indigenous theory with the practical community experiences of Indigenous second language learners, demonstrates how Indigenous systems of thought and ontology lend themselves well to the critical understanding necessary to enhance the recovery our own endangered languages. These research findings indicate that there is a definite link between ancestral language reclamation and increased levels of self-esteem, a sense of grounded cultural identity and resilience, an overall sense of healing and the social responsibility that comes with receiving the gift of language. The barriers associated with learning an ancestral language intersect on multiple and often simultaneous levels making it difficult for the language learners to discover their origin.This research found that it was important for language learners to identify that they often carry a collective sense of shame associated with an internalized attachment to the modality of Indigeneity. Once the origin of this shame was acknowledged – as resulting from settler/assimilation logics, it was often possible for people to move forward in their language recovery journeys, while at the same time considering more broadly the structural barriers that make individual learning so difficult.
    • Youth, Global Citizenship and Help: A Critical Rhetorical Analysis of Free The Children

      DeCaro, Lynn; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2014-01-27)
      Since 1995 Free The Children (FTC) has grown to be one of the largest and most recognized youth-focused and youth-led non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Canada. FTC has distinguished itself by developing slick marketing campaigns, promising youth that they will become agents of change who can make a significant contribution towards eradicating poverty and promoting global social justice. The organization has utilized the Internet, creating an engaging and dynamic web page used to promote its development initiatives and celebrate the altruistic actions of its young participants. FTC uses a variety of strategies including text, video and images to persuade the viewer to engage with and elicit support for the organization. FTC attracts viewers by highlighting the successes of its overseas initiatives and the contributions made by young Northern volunteers in the global South. The organization also uses celebrity ambassadors, and cultural events such as We Day to raise its profile. Using a critical rhetorical analysis, this thesis interrogates FTC’s online promotional materials, exploring how the organization uses rhetorical strategies to persuade young people to take an interest in social justice activities. More specifically, an examination of FTC web-based promotional materials identifies and problematizes the organization’s rhetorical emphasis on youth empowerment, global citizenship and direct forms of helping the global South. This thesis argues that FTC does not direct adequate attention to fostering critical awareness among it participants. Further, the organization fails to provide its online participants with the appropriate tools or opportunities to critically engage with the structural issues related to global inequities. This thesis also examines how the organization uses rhetoric that promotes simplistic, feel-good projects that avoid exposing young people to an analysis of global social injustices.
    • All of My Blood is Red: Contemporary Metis Visual Culture and Identity

      Short, Jessie; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2013-04-15)
      This thesis explores notions of contemporary Metis identity through the lens of visual culture, as articulated in the works of three visual artists of Metis ancestry. I discuss the complexities of being Metis with reference to specific art works by Christi Belcourt, David Garneau and Rosalie Favell. In addition to a visual culture analysis of these three Metis artists, I supplement my discussion of Metis identity with a selection of autoethnographic explorations of my identity as a Metis woman through out this thesis. The self-reflexive aspect of this work documents the ways in which my understanding of myself as a Metis woman have been deepened and reworked in the process of conducting this research, while also offering an expanded conception of contemporary Metis culture. I present this work as an important point of departure for giving a greater presence to contemporary Metis visual culture across Canada:
    • Management Material: Understanding the Contradictory Perspectives of Lower Level Managers in a Canadian Call Centre

      Maddeaux, R. Elizabeth A.; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2013-04-09)
      Call centres have emerged during a time of rapid technological change and represent a form of ready employment for those seeking to replace or supplement "traditional" forms of employment. Call centre work is considered characteristic of the kinds of service work available in the new economy. This paper examines the experiences and practices of lower level managers in a call centre in southern Ontario. Findings are based on analysis of semi-structured interviews. The findings suggest that lower level managers resolve the contradictory social space they occupy by aligning themselves primarily with more powerful executives, in part because they know this might lead to increased job security. The implications of this trend for building a strong labour movement capable of combating neoliberal discourses regarding the need for work restructuring are discussed.
    • Depopulating the Political Sidelines: CBC News Online Forum and Public Spheres in Canada

      Isekeije, Jumoke; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2013-04-08)
      The subject of the Internet's potential to foster a public sphere has become a growing area of research in the social sciences in the last two decades. My research explores comments made by participants on the CBC News online politics forum during the May 2011 federal election in Canada. Based on conditions proposed by Jurgen Habermas in his concept of the public sphere and operationalized by Lincoln Dahlberg in his pioneering study of the Minnesota e-Democracy listserv, my thesis explores the potential for the CBC News online forum to foster a public sphere for Canadians. While examining the CBC News online forum against the criteria of the public sphere, I also interrogate Habermas' concept of a universal public sphere using the works of Nancy Fraser and other scholars, who argue for multiple public spheres.
    • A Home at School: Building Stronger Indigenous People through Cultural Resurgence in an Urban Ontario Public School Context.

      Harrison, Jodie Lynn; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2013-04-02)
      In this thesis, I work through the educational narratives of young Aboriginal women and men as I explore the relationship between cultural programming and student engagement. My analysis is structured through a collaborative Indigenous research project. My overarching task is to explore how a cultural support program, the Native Youth Advancement with Education Hamilton (NYA WEH) Program, offered at Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School, located in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, attempts to re-imagine Aboriginal education in ways that directly challenge the residential school legacy. In particular, I work to illuminate how particular forms of Aboriginal education are connected to the graduation rates of Aboriginal youth. I argue that the ways in which the NYA WEH Program navigates Native Studies curriculum, relationships, and notions of culture and tradition are significant to the engagement of Aboriginal youth. This research develops theoretical connections between the contemporary experience of Aboriginal social inequality and educational initiatives which attempt to reverse that legacy. By placing the NYA WEH Program narratives side-by-side with literature supporting Aboriginal education for Self-determination, I work to learn how to best support and encourage Aboriginal student engagement in secondary schools across Ontario.
    • Between the panels: How anti-Black racism has recycled myths of the Black body in comic books

      Clarke, Douglas; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2012-11-07)
      Anti-Black racism continues to be a widespread problem, and as such deserves investigation and elimination. As Jackson (2006) says; “There is a hyperawareness…of the negative inscriptions associated with the Black masculine body as criminal, angry and incapacitated.” (2) To continue the study of the changing face of racism, the researcher must be well equipped with a contemporary methodology which is adaptable and exploratory. Due to the malleability of racism, research into its elimination must make inroads to areas that have heretofore been neglected and overlooked by traditional academic study. This project achieves a unique perspective by undertaking a theoretical exploration of racist stereotypes and motifs in the world of mass produced superhero comic books, a genre of comics which has neither yet been thoroughly investigated for the use of racist stereotypes nor been the focus of anti-racist scholarship.
    • Child care by choice or by default? : examining the experiences of unregulated home-based child care for women in paid work and training

      McKinley, Renée; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2010-10-27)
      This thesis aims to uncover the dynamics, causes and outcomes of women's reliance on unregulated home-based child care in Ontario, Canada, and the implications ofthis form of care for women's equality. Drawing on a longitudinal qualitative study, I examine the diverse experience of 14 women using home-based child care and engaged in both paid work/training and care work for children under the age of six, and draw comparisons with users of other forms of child care. I argue that home-based child care involves high levels of instability for continuity of care and is chosen largely as a default position based on economic considerations. It represents a compromise between the demands of social reproduction and paid work/training that entangles mothers in relations of exploitation with care providers. Doing so leaves both mothers and care providers socially and economically vulnerable and relying on social networks to fill in the gaps.
    • Perennial negotiations/elemental encounters autoethnographic perspectives on approaching food sovereignty

      Martens, Megan; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2010-10-27)
      This thesis uses a multifaceted process to engage with the topic of food sovereignty in California. It employs diverse methods, including critical and creative prose, photography, autoethnographic mixed media, storytelling and poetry. I am particularly concerned with the " " challenges of approaching food sovereignty, a radical praxis that combines subsistence practices with anti-capitalist resistance, while in my own "skin," which is thoroughly embedded in white, urban, middle classed culture and in corltextualizing ecological relationshipslkinships via cultural, historical and economic trajectories. The project utilizes a processual methodlology drawing substantially from the work of Brian Massumi to explore these issues through four creative narrative pieces which coalesce around the elemental metaphors of air, fire, water and earth. Following Deleuze and Guatarri's concept ofrhizomatic plateaus, the thesis narratives are comprised of many non-hierarchical layers and can be read from many angles. Each is offered "in process" rather than as a finished piece, thus practically validating the concept of the ongoing work of research and suggesting the equally omnipresent possibility of change and mutation in the formation relationally based knowledges. Cultivating ecological ethic and healing on multisensory levels, as well as commitment to emergent and re-productivist worldviews are goals of this project's research.
    • Fitness to stand trial : how discourses of rationality, reasonableness and culpability inform the law and psychiatry to create standards of normal

      Toetenel, Jody; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2010-10-26)
      The objective of this thesis is to demonstrate the importance of the concepts of rationality, reasonableness, culpability and autonomy that inform and support our conception of both the person and the punishable subject. A critical discourse analysis tracing these concepts through both the law and psychological tools used to evaluate the fitness of a person reveals that these concepts and their implied values are inconsistently applied to the mentally disordered who come into conflict with the law. I argue that the result of this inconsistency compromises a person's autonomy which is a contradiction to this concept as a foundational principle of the law. Ultimately, this thesis does not provide a solution to be employed in policy making, but its analysis leaves open possibilities for further exploration into the ways legal and social justice can be reconciled.
    • The Clemente Course in the Humanities and critical pedagogy : a comparative analysis of Earl Shorris and bell hooks on poverty, racism, imperialism and patriarchy

      Trowbridge, Terry; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2010-03-09)
      The Clemente Course in the Humanities is an anti-poverty intervention for adults who self-identity as "poor" and humanities instructors. The course was created in 1995 by journalist Earl Shorris, who based the curriculum on a Socratic method of pedagogy and the "great books" canon of Robert Hutchins. It began as a community-based initiative in urban US settings, but since 1997 Mayan, Yup'ik and Cherokee iterations have been created, as well as on-campus bridge courses for non-traditional students to explore college-level education in Canada and the USA. The course potentially conflicts with critical pedagogy because the critical theories of Paulo Freire and contemporary cultural studies reject traditional notions of both the canon and teaching. However, a comparison between Shorris' and bell hooks' theories of oppression reveals significant similarities between his "surround of force" and her "capitalist imperialist white supremacist patriarchy," with implications for liberal studies and critical pedagogy.
    • Medicalization and women : O, the Oprah Magazine diagnosed through critical discourse analysis

      Williams, Katharine A.; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2010-03-09)
      This thesis uses critical discourse analysis (COAl to explore and examine direct-toconsumer (OTC) pharmaceutical drug advertisements appearing in four issues of 0, The Oprah Magazine in 2006. The theoretical underpinnings of this thesis emerge from social scientists and feminists analyses regarding the medicalization of everyday life. The findings of this study highlight three types of discourses used by pharmaceutical companies. First, I explore the use of historical and contemporary gender norms to seJi pharmacological products; second, J examine discourses which normalize the use of chemical solutions as the first line of defense to address a wide range of everyday problems; and finally, I assess how phannaceutical advertisements provide an illusion of autonomy by responsibilizing individuals as patients, at the same time as they suggest that real independence can only be achieved with medication. My discussion of these themes also includes an analysis of why 0 Magazine, which explicitly promotes women's empowerment through holistic approaches to health and personal growthmight support such advertising. Thus I explore: how does OTC advertising benefit both pharmaceutical companies and 0 Magazine itself? I conclude through a brief discussion of the larger implications of OTC advertising for women's health.
    • Benefits, challenges, and limitations of fair trade as a social justice movement

      Byrne, Stacey.; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2006-02-16)
      This thesis answers some important questions about how Fair Trade is experienced and perceived by some Northern sellers, consumers, activists, advocates, practitioners, and an importer. As it relates to sellers, I focus only on small scale independent businesses (i.e. I do not include large corporate businesses in my interview sample). Fair Trade works to establish a dignified livelihood for many producers in the South. Some of the most important actors in the Fair Trade movement are the people who buy, sell, and/or advocate for Fair Trade in the North. Fair Trade is largely a consumer movement which relies on the purchase of Fair Trade products. Without consumers purchasing Fair Trade products, retailers providing the products for sale, and activists raising awareness of Fair Trade, the movement, as it is presently constituted, would be non-existent. This qualitative research is based on 19 in-depth i.nterviews with nine interviewees involved with Fair Trade in Canada. I focus on benefits, challenges, and limitations of Fair Trade in the context of their involvement with it. I describe and analyze how people become involved with Fair Trade, what motivates them to do so, what they hope to achieve, and the benefits of being involved. I also describe and analyze how people understand and deal with any challenges and limitations associated with their involvement with Fair Trade. I also explore whether involvement with Fair Trade influences how people think about other products that they purchase and, if so, in what ways. I focus mainly on the commodity of coffee, but my discussion is not limited to this single commodity. Interviewees' experiences with and participation in Fair Trade vary in terms of their level of involvement and interest in the broader Fair Trade movement (as opposed to just participating in the market component). This research reveals that while Fair Trade is a small movement, sellers, consumers, and activists have had much success in the advancement of Fair Trade. While challenges have not deterred interviewees from continuing to participate in Fair Trade, analysis and explanation of such challenges provides the opportunity for Fair Trade practitioners to develop effective solutions in an effort to meet the needs of various Fair Trade actors.
    • Advocating recognition and redistribution in poverty alleviation programs in Ghana : an examination of state and NGO programs and policies

      Bawa, Sylvia; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2007-11-16)
      Abstract This thesis argues that poverty alleviation strategies and programs carried out by the government and Non Governmental Organizations in Ghana provide affirmative solutions to poverty. This is because, these intervention strategies have been influenced by conventional discourses on poverty that fail to adequately address non-economic issues of poverty such as powerlessness, marginalization and tmder-representation. The study is carried out in a two-pronged manner; first, it analyses state policies and strategies, particularly the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS), on poverty alleviation and compares these to NGO programs, implemented with funds and support from external donor organizations. Specifically, I focus on how NGOs and the governnlent of Ghana negotiate autonomy and financial dependency with their funding donor-partners and how these affect their policies and programs. Findings from this study reveal that while external influences dominate poverty alleviation policies and strategies, NGOs and the government of Ghana exercise varying degrees of agency in navigating these issues. In particular, NGOs have been able to adapt their programs to the changing needs of donor markets, and are also actively engaged in re-orienting poverty back to the political domain through advocacy campaigns. Overall, rural communities in Ghana depend on charitable NGOs for the provision of essential social services, while the Ghanaian government depends on international donor assistance for its development projects.
    • Power, resistance and Spanish Residential School

      Jansen, Rebecca.; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2004-11-04)
      This thesis explores the relationship between exercises of disciplinary power and acts of resistance as they relate to the negotiation of identities at Spanish Residential School between the years of 1878 and 1930. The school itself, originally Wikwemikong Industrial School, was administered by the Jesuits and the Daughters of the Heart of Mary and relocated to Spanish, Ontario in 1913. Various archival and printed sources have been used to reveal methods of disciplinary power that administrators used to reshape the Aboriginal students. However, despite their incessant efforts, the administrators of Spanish Residential School did not succeed in completely reforming their pupils. The documentary record, then, also suggests that students at Spanish Residential School, although confined in a very oppressive institution, creatively used opportunities to alter their circumstances.
    • International volunteers at a Costa Rican organic farm : sheepish volunteers, proud tourists and unwitting developers

      Zavitz, Katherine J.; Social Justice and Equity Studies Program (Brock University, 2004-07-14)
      This thesis analyzes the practices and experiences of two groups of Canadian volunteers who visited the organic fanning and "alternative development" project ofFinca la Flor (FLF) in central Costa Rica. Using both participant observation and in-depth interviews with volunteers and other people involved with FLF, I examine volunteers' understandings of their involvement with the fann. I argue that three discursive fonnations are instrumental in shaping this particular volunteering encounter. Specifically, interpretation of these Canadian volunteers' experiences inspires the argument that the emerging practice of international volunteering (or voluntourism) exists at the intersection of discourses of development, volunteering and tourism, all of which both reflect and maintain problematic North-South relationships. The analysis shows that in spite ofFLF's construction as an (alternative / sustainable) international-development project, and in spite of volunteers' initial conceptualization of their trip as "volunteering," volunteers tend to act and describe their time at FLF in ways that look more like tourism than like volunteer labor or international development. Likewise, although FLF claims to principally be focused on alternative development, and merely to open up this authentic development space to volunteers for their participation, the organization in both practice and discourse seems primarily to construct a tourist experience and cater to the needs of foreigners as tourists. Discourses of development and volunteering do infonn the practices offann personnel and volunteers at FLF, but they become subordinated to the more dominant discourse of tourism as the volunteers' and fann management's ideals of development and volunteering capitulate to become focused on satisfying volunteers' (perceived or "real") touristic desires. The FLF participants I studied may have entered the encounter as volunteers, but they departed the site having been tourists.