• Early Adolescents' Perceptions and Attitudes Towards Gender Representations in Video Games

      Liu, Helen; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This study investigated adolescents’ perception and attitudes towards gender representation in video game covers, and the degree to which these depictions may influence their notions on gender and identification. Seventeen participants ranging from ages 12 and 13 from an independent boarding and day school in Ontario participated in semi-structured interviews to explore this topic. Data were analyzed using a qualitative approach. The study’s conceptual framework encompassed social cognitive theory, gender schema theory, and cultivation theory. Findings suggest that gender representation in video games does influence the majority of participants’ notions of gender; however, there are differences between how males and females approach, interpret, and respond to this type of media. Findings also showcased that evidence of implicit bias was detected in both male and female participants, demonstrated through inconsistencies in their responses. Finally, the findings revealed a significant lack of identification from the majority of participants with video game characters, as many participants were able to clearly distinguish between simulated and real-life experiences. Through this investigation, the present study aimed to precipitate awareness and to provide better understanding about gender and identity in relation to video game playing.
    • The Experience of Being a Collaborative Writer

      Reid, Joanne Louise; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This qualitative self-study narrated and analyzed my experience of writing an academic textbook collaboratively with 2 other authors. Social constructivist theory and the idea of cognitive apprenticeship provided a conceptual framework. In this study, I compared my experience with the benefits, challenges, and relational dynamics reported in the literature. Data included face-to-face interviews, recorded Skype conversations, emails, and journal entries. Strategies that can enhance collaborative writing are presented. The study concludes with a discussion of the ways collaborative writing disrupts traditional cultural and academic notions of writing.
    • Insights Into the Remembered Educational Experiences of Male Caribbean Immigrants to Canada: Literacy and Identity in the Canadian Classroom

      Medford-Williams, Cynthia; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2013-09-05)
      Abstract Past research has addressed the issue of male underachievement in literacy as an issue of global concern. This qualitative study focused on one subgroup of males which the literature highlighted as most at risk of educational underachievement in the Canadian educational landscape: male Caribbean immigrants to Canada. The research questions that framed the study sought to gain insight into the educational experiences of this group of learners so that ways through which their literacy achievement as measured by academic performance and classroom engagement could be projected. New literacy studies view literacy as socioculturally bound in social, institutional, and cultural relationships (Gee 1996). Literacy can therefore be thought of as an extension of self that Lankshear and Knobel (2006) assert is always connected to social identities. Central to the research questions as a result of this perspective was the discovery of the ideologies of reading held by the participants and their connections to literacy practice. Supplementary questions delved into socially valued literacy practices and ways in which learners saw themselves as Black males reflected in the Canadian educational framework. In this qualitative study with an interview design, data were collected through individual semistructured interviews with the 4 participants and through a focus group session with all the participants. The findings depicted that identity, interests, and ideologies of reading all influenced the literacy practices and engagement of Caribbean males. The findings documented are valuable as they provide a fresh perspective surrounding the educational experiences of the male Caribbean learner and can present insights which can lead to enhanced academic engagement and improved student achievement for this group of learners.
    • Locating Intergenerational Sense of Self: Intersections of Genealogy with Leisure and Tourism

      Higginbotham, Gregory; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2014-03-07)
      Situated at the intersection of leisure and tourism, there is currently a renewed interest and curiosity in ancestral lineages. Focusing on amateur genealogists who pursue, and travel for, a leisure engagement of genealogy, this qualitative research study endeavours to investigate their quests for personal identity and locations of an intergenerational sense of self. With the adoption of a narrative inquiry method, life story interviews were conducted with four amateur genealogists. Findings from an analysis of the narratives have been organized into five core themes, each of which contributes to our understanding of these amateur genealogists’ experiences of leisure and travel. While the amateur genealogists do not acknowledge their leisure engagements as a quest for personal identity, they make use of such engagements to locate an intergenerational sense of self and gain enriched self-understandings. Moreover, by facilitating intersections of genealogy, leisure, and tourism, several key insights are offered that may be of particular interest to scholars in both fields of study.
    • ‘Molida’, That’s Shimshali Food: Modernization, Mobility, Food Talk, and the Constitution of Identity in Shimshal, Pakistan

      Hamill, Julia; Department of Geography
      This thesis examines how “food talk” – or talking about food – is used by members of a rural community in mountainous northern Pakistan called Shimshal to articulate identities to both local and transcultural audiences. Food and food practices have been well-established as important resources for the constitution and performance of identity, including in contexts of mobility and modernization. However, the literature on food, identity, and mobility tends to focus on contexts that involve primarily linear, unidirectional, and permanent movement from one country to another. My thesis draws attention to contexts of multilocality, a common livelihood strategy in Shimshal and other rural communities in the Global South in which household members move between and maintain connections in multiple spatially-distanced locations at once. In particular, I examine instances of transcultural identity constitution, in which Shimshalis construct representations for themselves and for outsiders. These kinds of interactions exemplify the increasingly common representational contexts that are both produced by and characteristic of the circumstances of mobility, multilocality, and modernization in which I am interested. To examine how food talk was used as a conversational resource for transcultural articulations of identity, I conduct discourse analysis on two sets of pre-existing published texts: a collection of oral testimonies and an archive of narrativized photographs. I identify four main discourses of modern Shimshali identity in the texts – unity, agropastoralism and modernity, exceptionalism, and multilocality – and trace how food talk is used to help perform these identity tropes to local and transcultural audiences, with talk about food as an agropastoral mode of production, community, health, ‘modernity’, ritual, ‘tradition’, and wealth particularly salient as identity resources. I also show how the use of food talk as an identity resource is shaped by the context in which it is employed, including the perceived aims of different texts and the symbolic and material changes in food itself. Drawing on an autoethnographic sensibility, I suggest that we can gain more meaningful insights into the performance of identity and food talk by attending to the specific contexts of their production and reception. Finally, I show how food talk and identity have changed (and been maintained) in the two sets of texts I analyze, which take place across a period of rapid increases in mobility and multilocality. By doing so, this thesis brings together and contributes to preoccupations from mobility studies, modernization and development studies, migration and multilocality, food studies, identity studies, discourse analysis, and geographical research on rural northern Pakistan.
    • Towards Surveillance Education: An Investigation Into the Relationship Between Surveillance Capitalism, Education, and Identity

      Kendell, David; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This thesis is a philosophical investigation that tracks the increasing influence of surveillance capitalism and its relationship to changes in identity, behaviour, and the classroom to create surveillance education. Education is key in the behavioural development of students and a critical social environment in the development of self-identity. Surveillance capitalism’s practitioners could author student identity by controlling the feedback about behavioural expression in the classroom and create citizens who accept surveillance as a legitimate part of their participation in society. This places humans in the position of a simple natural resource to be stacked, sorted, and manipulated as Heidegger suggested. This thesis begins with an examination of Shoshana Zuboff’s book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism and traces the interconnected nature of these concepts. Zuboff’s arguments are refocused towards identity. An examination of how education is changing and aiding in the adoption of surveillance methods is then undertaken. This leads to the conclusion that humans are now a natural resource and that education plays role in this outcome. Possible solutions to change the course are suggested. Future areas of research are also proposed that will continue to shed light on the emergence and effects of surveillance education.