Now showing items 21-35 of 35

    • With Care and Deliberation: Prairie Teachers go to Work

      Ensslen, Christine; Department of Sociology
      At the turn of the 20th century, people from select European countries were invited to homestead in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. The provincial Department of Education had two goals: assimilating the children of these immigrants into Anglo-Saxon cultural traditions and sourcing teachers with the appropriate values to do so, however, they had very few ways of measuring how and if teachers were fulfilling their goals. This thesis examines a group of Saskatchewan women teachers who utilized the opportunity to write their life stories to establish themselves as dedicated, hardworking professionals. I explore how these women characterized their teaching practices as part of a larger enterprise of creating solid citizens. The thesis is centered around two research questions: (i) how did a particular group of Saskatchewan women teachers utilize their personal histories and supplementary documents to counter the ideal of male teacher? (ii) how did these women’s classroom practices and goals facilitate the process of “Canadianizing” rural immigrant students? I explore these questions through a combination of feminist historiography and narrative analysis as ways of studying women’s stories and ‘documents of life’ (Plummer, 2002, Stanley, 2013) and the socio-cultural contexts within which they were embedded, I argue that these teachers chose examples from their own lives to illustrate women as legitimate, serious, hardworking teachers. These women consciously participated in the Saskatchewan Department of Education’s project of Canadianizing immigrant children. Furthermore, as they were aware that they were responsible for imparting more than reading, writing and arithmetic they also sought to inculcate values and moral characteristics that they personal felt were important for these children to learn.
    • Social Organization on the Web: How Sex workers Rights Organizations Engage in Activism and Advocacy Work Online

      Ioannoni, Kelsey; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2014-11-06)
      The purpose of this study was to examine how sex workers rights organizations use their websites as a site of activist and advocacy work and ask (i) how do various organizations conceptualize sex work on their websites, and to what extent do they incorporate an intersectional feminist perspective? (ii) what communication strategies are used by the four organizations to target audiences in the viewing public? (iii) what audiences do the four websites target? (iv) how do the four organizations discuss successes and challenges on their websites? (v) in what ways do sex worker right organizations use websites to further their goals? The websites of Maggie’s, POWER, and Stella attempt to embrace an intersectional feminist perspective of sex work, while PACE does not. The four organizations strategically use their websites to target audiences with diverse needs, specifically through advocacy efforts in educating the general public about the legitimacy of sexual labour. Additionally, to increase the use of the websites by sex workers, using social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter augment the untapped potential for creating action, mobilization, interaction, and dialogue on the websites.
    • "Everyone Loves Marineland!" (?): Entertainment Animal Advocacy, Praxis, and Resisting Corporate Repression

      Smith, Elizabeth; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2014-10-30)
      Following allegations and graphic evidence of animal cruelty and neglect documented by ex-employee whistleblowers of Marineland Canada to the Toronto Star newspaper in late 2012, the ethics surrounding animal captivity have been increasingly contested in regional public discourse. Animal advocates in the Niagara region and beyond have been compelled to demand change at the infamous local captive animal park— whether it be welfare-oriented reform, or radical animal liberation. With this as a backdrop, this research explores the ideologies, experiences, and strategic tactics of anti-Marineland animal advocates; the sociopolitical issues surrounding the largely unexamined but serious issue of imprisoned animals as entertainers; and the ensuing governmental and corporatist attempts to squash dissent of anti-Marineland critics. Situated within a Critical Animal Studies theoretical paradigm as well as a flourishing global anti-captivity critique inspired by the film Blackfish, this project employs semi-structured interviews and participant observation methodologies to analyze advocates' views on captivity under capitalism and the effectiveness of their praxes. Finally, this research illuminates the nuances of the conventionally-upheld dualistic theoretical debate of animal welfare versus animal rights within zoo and aquaria entertainment contexts through an exploratory examination of advocates' complex ideological views.
    • A Mind of its Own: The Lived Experience of Adult Students who are ADHD

      Engel, Kenton; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2014-04-29)
      Despite the growing trend towards recognizing that attention deficit hyperactive disorder occurs beyond childhood, the experience of adult students who are ADHD remains little researched or understood. Given the losses in efficiency and productivity in academic performance from adult ADHD, researching ADHD’s experiential aspects is significant for both educators and students in its potential to develop better strategies for accommodating those with the disorder. This study used hermeneutic phenomenology and existential psychology to describe the lived experience of adult students who are ADHD. Five adult students participated in the study, which involved two in-depth conversations with guiding questions such as: What is it like to be ADHD?; and What led to your perception that you have ADHD? Conversations were transcribed and thematic statements developed, using the life-world existentials of lived space, lived time, lived relationships and lived corporeality to deepen considerations of meaning.
    • Animals without Borders: Farmed Animal Resistance in New York

      Colling, Sarat; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2014-02-21)
      While billions of farmed animals are immobilized within agribusiness, every year some of these animals manage to break free. This thesis examines the stories of those who flee slaughterhouses and the public response to these individuals. My objective is to understand how animals resist and the role that their stories play in disrupting the ways that humans, particularly as consumers, are distanced from the violence of animal enterprises. Included are six vignettes that allow for an in-depth case study of those who have escaped within New York State. Located in the interdisciplinary field of critical animal studies, my inquiry draws upon new animal geographies, transnational feminisms, and critical discourse analysis. This contribution provides discussion of farmed animal resistance in particular and compares experiences and representations of their resistance from both the “view from below,” which is learned through the animals’ caretakers, and a “view from above,” which is gleaned from their representations in corporate-driven mainstream media.
    • Canadianness is Wilderness? Violent Love Relationships with ‘Wild’ Bodies

      Marynowycz, Amanda; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2014-02-21)
      This thesis reveals contradictions that Canadians experience with groups attached to western construction of wilderness namely Indigenous people and wildlife. My study analyzes how the discourse of Canadian wilderness identity is played out in Algonquin Provincial Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park in comparison to non-nature/urban spaces (Greater Toronto Area). My investigation employs a critical discourse analysis and participant observation. I undertake three main tasks: 1) I describe how violent love is a dominant discourse at the Parks, 2) I examine evidence of animals and Indigenous people being produced relationally in the Parks, and 3) I analyze how relationships are spatially organized. My research reveals that the Parks conceal practices of violence that are central to the intersections of speciesism and colonialism. I demonstrate how violent love operates across a continuum that is influenced by spatial belonging and distance. This research is a contribution to the production of non-speciesist knowledge.
    • The Political Economy of St. Catharines' Illicit Taxi Trade

      Galano, David; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2014-01-27)
      The global restructuring of production has led to increasingly precarious working conditions around the world. Post-industrial work is characterized by poor working conditions, low wages, a lack of social protection and political representation and little job security. Unregulated forms of work that are defined as “irregular” or “illegal”, or in some cases “criminal,” are connected to sweeping transformations within the broader regulated (formal) economy. The connection between the formal and informal sectors can more accurately be described as co-optation and, as a subordinate integration of the informal to the formal. The city of St. Catharines within Niagara, along with much of Ontario’s industrial heartland, has been hard hit by deindustrialization. The rise of this illegal service is thus viewed against the backdrop of heavy economic restructuring, as opportunities for work in the manufacturing sector have become sparse. In addition, this research also explores the paradoxical co-optation of the growing illicit taxi economy and consequences for racialized and foreign credentialed labour in the taxi industry. The overall objective of this research is to explore the illicit cab industry as not only inseparable from the formal economy, but dialectically, how it is as an integrated and productive element of the public and private transportation industry. Furthermore the research examines what this co-optation means in the context of a labour market that is split by race.
    • “You Know What I Mean?”- Language and Cultural Retention in Luso-Canadian Mothers in the Greater Toronto Area

      Vieira, Sara Isabel; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2014-01-27)
      The Portuguese community is one of the largest diasporic groups in the Greater Toronto Area and the choice of retention and transmission of language and culture to Luso-Canadians is crucial to the development and sustainability of the community. The overall objective of this study is to learn about the factors that influence Luso-Canadian mothers’ inclination to teach Portuguese language and cultural retention to their children. To explore this topic I employed a qualitative research design that included in-depth interviews conducted in 2012 with six Luso-Canadian mothers. Three central arguments emerged from the findings. First, Luso-Canadian mothers interviewed posses a pronounced desire for their children to succeed academically, and to provide opportunities that their children that they did not have. Second, five of the mothers attempt to achieve this mothering objective partly by disconnecting from their Portuguese roots, and by disassociating their children from the Portuguese language and culture. Third, the disconnection they experience and enact is influenced by the divisions evident in the Portuguese community in the GTA that divides regions and hierarchically ranks dialects, and groups. I conclude that the children in these households inevitably bear the prospects of maintaining a vibrant Portuguese community in the GTA and I propose that actions by the community in ranking dialects influence mothers’ decisions about transmitting language and culture to their children.
    • The Myth of Labour-Management Partnerships and the Risk to Labour: A CAMI Automotive Study

      Billyard, Doug; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2013-08-30)
      The purpose of this study is to examine and explore the level of risk that CAMI workers confront under their existing labour-management partnership arrangement. Risk is explored using two distinct categories, distributive and political. Distributive risk is expressed as tangibly substantive, reflecting the real terms and conditions of employment, and the changing social relations of production on the floor. The second type of risk is political and is concerned with the effects that labour-management partnerships have on the displacement of unions as legitimate agents of/for workers within the workplace. Data was collected using three methods; content analysis, cross-sectional survey and focus group interviews. The study revealed that CAMI workers are exposed to both distributive and political risk under their current LMP arrangement.
    • M(e)a(t)sculinity: Investigating Veg(etari)an Men's Understandings of Masculinity

      Romanin, Steve G.; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2013-07-11)
      Using focus group methods, this project examines six men’s experiences of becoming vegetarian and the unique interaction between two identities commonly assumed to be in conflict: vegetarianism and masculinity. Included in this report is an overview of the contemporary debates in gender theory, with specific attention paid to men and masculinity. Seen through the lens of poststructural gender theory and the notion of multiple masculinities, this report demonstrates how vegetarian men challenge, negotiate and assert themselves as men both within the dominant culture and within their own vegetarian communities. This project bridges two existing bodies of work - poststructural gender theory and critical animal studies - to bring a more nuanced and better-articulated critique of gender to existing studies of the relationship between meat and masculinity and to offer this examination of meat consumption and gender performance as an illustration of the valuable applications of poststructural gender theory within critical animal studies.
    • Making Queer Anti-capitalist Resistance Intelligible: Reading Queer Childhood in the Ruins of Neoliberalism

      Tanyildiz, Gökbörü Sarp; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2013-07-11)
      In challenging normative social relations, queer cultural studies has shied away from deploying historical materialist theoretical tools. My research addresses this gap by drawing these two literatures into conversation. I do so by investigating how global economic relations provide an allegorical and material context for the regulation, representation and re-imagining of working-class queer childhood through anti- capitalist queer readings of three films: Kes, Billy Elliot, and Boys Village. I deploy this reading practice to investigate how these films represent heteronormative capitalism’s systematic extermination of the life possibilities of working class children, how children resist forces of normalisation by creating queer times and spaces, and how nostalgia engenders a spatio-temporal understanding of queerness through a radical utopianism. My analysis foregrounds visual cultural productions as sites for understanding how contemporary social worlds exclude queer working class children, who struggle to insert themselves into and thereby shift the grounds of normative social relations.
    • Niagara alternative food projects : networks, discourses and nature /

      Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2004-07-14)
      This thesis undertakes an exploration of the nature of alternative food projects in Niagara. A review of various theoretical approaches to the study of food and agriculture, suggests that actor-network theory offers the most useful lens through which to understand these projects. In particular, actor-network theory facilitates non-dualistic theorisations of power and scale and a commitment to the inclusion of non-humans in the 'social' sciences. The research is based on 19 in-depth interviews with actors involved in various urban and rural projects including community supported agriculture, community gardens, chefs using local seasonal food, a winery that grows organically, the good food box, a value-added small business, and organic producers. The analysis consists of four themes. The first analytical section pays special attention to the prominence of agri-tourism in Niagara, and examines the ways in which the projects in the sample interact with agri-tourist networks. In the second section the discussion focuses on the discourses and practices of resistance among Niagara alternative food actors. The participants' interviews suggest there are more discourses of resistance toward agri-tourist than toward dominant food networks. The third section questions commodity chain theorisations of alternative food projects. In particular, this section shows how the inclusion of non-human actors in an analysis confounds conceptualisations of 'short' and 'local' chains. The final analytical section assesses relations of power in Niagara alternative food projects. Three important conclusions arise from this research. First, Niagara alternative food projects cannot be conceptualised as operating at the 'local' scale. Broadening the scope of analysis to include non-human actors, it becomes apparent that these projects actually draw on a variety of extra-local actors. They are at once local and global. Second, the projects in this sample are simultaneously part of alternative, dominant and agri-tourist networks. While Niagara alternative food projects do perform many of the roles characteristic of alternative food systems, they are also involved in practices of development, business, and class distinction. Thus, alternative food networks should not be understood as separate from and in direct opposition to dominant food networks. Despite the second conclusion, this research determines that Niagara alternative food projects have made significant strides in the reworking of power. The projects represented in this thesis do engage in resistant practices and are associated with increased levels ofjustice.
    • The effectiveness of explicit strategy instruction on the top level structure of a text

      Banks, Jean Marie. (0 St. Catharines, Ont. : Faculty of Education, Brock University; 1995., 2009-07-09)
      Two intermediate geography classes were used to study the effects of explicit strategy instruction on the top level structure of a text. One group of Grade 7 and 8 students participated in the explicit strategy training about the top level structure of a text, while the other group used a more traditional method of questioning and answering when reading and writing. Specifically, comparisons were made between students' reading abilities, writing abilities, metacognitive awareness, standardized reading test scores and in class performance scores to see whether changes occurred as a direct result of explicit strategy training. It was hypothesized that explicit strategy training would improve students' reading and writing abilities. At the end of the program, however, the data did not support this hypothesis. There were some significant main effects for time. The students in both groups showed improvement over time. The te~cher's journal indicated that by the end of the study the students in the experimental condition had not yet mastered the strategy. Concerns about the readiness level of the students also arose from the teacher's journal.
    • Canada/U.S. border crossing: facilitation and constraint

      Nyarko, Cynthia.; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 2004-07-09)
      Abstract The aim of this research project is to draw on accounts of experiences ofborder crossing and regulation at the Canada/U.S. border at Niagara in order to illuminate the dynamics of differentiation and inequality at this site. The research is informed by claims that the world is turning into a global village due to transnational flows oftechnology, infonnation, capital and people. Much of the available literature on globalization shows that while the transfer of technology, information, and capital are enhanced, the transnational movement of people is both facilitated and constrained in complex and unequal ways. In this project, the workings of facilitation and constraint were explored through an analysis often interviews with people who had spent a substantial portion oftheir childhood (e.g. 5 years) in a Canadian border community. The interviewees were at the time ofthe research between the ages of 19 and 25. Because most ofthe respondents were 'white' Canadians of working to upper middle class status, my focus was to explore how 'whiteness' as privilege may translate into enhanced movement across borders and how 'white' people may internalize and enjoy this privilege but may often deny its reality. I was also interested in how inequality is perceived, understood, and legitimated by these relatively privileged people. My analysis ofthe ten accounts ofborder crossing and regulation suggests that differentially situated people experience border crossing differently. An important finding is that while relatively privileged border crossers perceived and often problernatized differential treatment based on external factors such as physical appearance, and especially race, most did not challenge such treatment but rather saw it as acceptable. These findings are located within newer literature that addresses the increasing securitization ofborders and migration in western societies.
    • The human rights dilemma : an east-west encounter : Germany and China in 1996 /

      Sieren, Andreas.; Department of Sociology (Brock University, 1997-05-21)
      Conflicts over human rights in relations between East Asia and the West have increased since the end of the Cold War. Western governments express concern about human rights standards in East Asian countries. In the East, these expressions have been perceived as interference in internal affairs. Due to dramatic economic development, East Asian nations recently have gained in pride and self-confidence as global actors. Such development is observed with suspicion in the West. Concerned about the decline of global U.S. influence, some American scholars have re-invented the notion of "culture" to point at an alleged East Asian threat. Also East Asian statesmen use the cultural argument by claiming the existence of so-called 'Asian values', which they allege are the key to Eastern economic success. This thesis argues that issues of human rights in East-West relations are not only a consequence of well-intended concern by Western governments regarding the human rights and welfare of the citizens of East Asian nations, but are in fact dominated by and used as a pawn in interplay with more complicated questions of global power and economic relations between East and West. The thesis reviews the relevance of culture in East-West relations. In the West, particularly Samuel P. Huntington with his prediction of the Clash of Civilizations stands out. Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew has been very vocal on the Eastern side. Whereas the West tries to cope with its decrease of global influence, after hundreds of years under Western hegemonism, the East believes in an Asian way of development without interference form the West. Most of this dispute revolves around the issue of human rights. The West claims the universality of rights which in fact emphasizes political and civil rights. Western countries critizise poor human rights standards in East Asia. The East, in return, accuses the West of hypocritical policies that seek global dominance. East Asian governments assert that due to a different stage of development they have to stress first their rights to development in order to assure stability. In particular, China argues this way. The country's leadership, however, shows concern about human rights and has already improved its human rights record over the past years. This thesis analyses the dispute over human rights in a case study on Germany and China. Both countries have a mutual interest in trade relations which has conflicted with Germany's criticism of China's problematic human rights record. In 1996, the two countries clashed after the German parliament passed a resolution condemning China's treatment of Tibet. This caused a lot of damage to the Chinese-German relationship which in the course of the year went back to normality. In the light of these frictions a German human rights policy that focuses on unspectacular grass-roots support of China, for example in strengthening China's legal system, would be preferable. Such co-operation must be based on mutual respect.