Communication - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Subcultures of coping: The idiosyncratic trends of Koi and Sang exhibited by Chinese Millennials"

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-01
Abstract: 

In recent years, a phenomenon has emerged and has soon become quite popular in China, which is the frequent appearance of “Sang” and “Koi” in Chinese online social media posts. The widespread use of the two terms online has drawn attention from the academic field, the media, as well as society at large. Many scholars, media producers, and even the public see the emergence of the Koi and Sang phenomenon as the establishment of new subcultures in China. Moreover, the majority of participants of the online social media platforms, where Koi and Sang are most commonly seen, are Chinese Millennials. As such, many have argued that the emergence of such online cultures unveils suppressed truths concerning the challenges faced by young adults in China and symbolizes pivotal issues that plague the greater Chinese society.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stuart Poyntz
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Para-social interactions in Chinese audio melodramas

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-31
Abstract: 

Audio melodramas of boy’s love have become a media phenomenon in China and have formed online communities on social media. This paper examined how these communities’ members interact in the listening process and trans-media extensions. This paper employed the concept of para-social interaction (PSI) to disentangle the novelty of PSI in the social media context. Nine thousand on-screen comments, three hundred comments, and a hundred posts from an audio melodrama The Untamed’s community on Sina Weibo were gathered and analyzed. The findings contribute to the theory of PSI and provide information about the question of whether our social relationship is becoming more or less authentic under the considerable influence of media expansion.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Zoë Druick
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Yellow Dollars, White Masks: Hollywood and the performance of progressive texts

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-29
Abstract: 

Crazy Rich Asians offers an outlet for Asian American political energy. The success of the film has been subsidized by communicative capitalism and the draw or duties of a manufactured community. My theoretical critique of CRA looks at the production, subsidization, and consumption of this film within the context of representation in the US for Asian Americans. The term Yellow Dollars describes the neoliberal view of our financial worth and its reduction of our diverse identities and experiences down to a generalized racial grouping. If representation comes at this expense, we must question the benefits of this system of recognition. By allowing capital and consumerism to become the strongest part of our action framework, how we see ourselves, define our interests and approach the world, we restrict ourselves to behaving “appropriately” within the system if capitalist recognition and our terms of recognition become more entangled with an exploitative system of global capitalism.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Daniel Ahadi
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Insulting Islam: Understanding anti-religious discourse online in Post-Revolutionary Egypt

Date created: 
2019-08-29
Abstract: 

There are a few taboos that the majority of Egyptians who grew up before and during the 2011 revolution learned to avoid in their discussions. These are politics, religion and sex! But on the 25th of January 2011 a revolution started and disrupted all political and social norms in the country. This research examines how a specific online group used offensive discourse to change the master narrative that defies religion in Egypt.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Adel Iskandar
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Challenging discourses of disabled sexual deviance: An historic overview and critical analysis - AND - Toward disabled perspectives of sexual expression: A multi-media analysis

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-16
Abstract: 

Essay 1: “Challenging Discourses of Disabled Sexual Deviance: An Historic Overview and Critical Analysis” seeks to establish how the discourse of disabled sexual deviance has been maintained through the historical oppression of people with disability. It analyses how disabled sexual deviance is upheld by rampant sexual exclusion and compromised sexual citizenship. Essay 2: “Toward Disabled Perspectives of Sexual Expression: A Multi-Media Analysis” evaluates the representations of sexuality and disability in dramatic, documentary, and science-fiction film, and in live performance. It pays particularly close attention to the ways in which deviant representations of disabled sexual expression can begin to be deconstructed by adopting perspectives of disabled sexual diversity and inexactness within them.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Laba
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essays) M.A.

Screen sultans: The Neo-Ottomanist rebranding of Turkey through television dramas - AND - Opportunities and barriers to achieve digital inclusion for people with disabilities: A comparative analysis

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-29
Abstract: 

Essay 1: This essay focuses on Turkey’s Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (Justice and Development Party - AKP) government’s strategic use of neo-Ottomanist nation-branding efforts as a soft power tool through the production and broadcasting of its transnational Turkish soap operas. This study examines these national rebranding efforts by analyzing a particular exemplar program entitled Hakan: The Protector (Hakan: Muhafiz). Hakan is the first Turkish Netflix series that is designed to appeal global transnational audiences, including viewers in neighbouring Middle Eastern countries, nations formerly occupied by the Ottoman Empire, and the West. This paper attempts to showcase how, through the examination of the story of Hakan, Ottoman historical revival and Islamic traditions are invoked in a modern Turkish television production that depicts contemporary society and mimics socio-political changes currently taking place in the country under the rule of the AKP. Essay 2: Questions related to use of technologies delve deeply into discourses and experiences surrounding disability and technology and highlight the ways in which default modes of engagement and access are not accessible for users with all abilities. This study involves a comparative analysis of diverse scholarly works on the digital inclusion for people with disabilities by highlighting the potential to connect across disciplines as queer, feminist and digital media studies to acknowledge forms of difference related to disabilities also as a basis for gender, race, and class inequalities embedded into the design and organizational practices. The right to access ICTs invokes civil and human rights issues such as freedom of expression, freedom to information, political participation, civic engagement and inclusive education. Therefore, access is at the core of the legal definition of the public space and, to a great extent, online communication does meet accessibility requirements for many disabled people. In the realm of digital public sphere, digital inclusion and accessibility are essential to enable an inclusive participation for all.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Adel Iskandar
Martin Laba
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essays) M.A.

Arresting a Chinese Tech Princess: discourses in the Canadian national news media

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-15
Abstract: 

By arresting Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, Canada lit the fuse for an international incident that has had serious consequences for the nation and its allies. Meng’s arrest is therefore a valuable case study to identify whose voices have the most power over messaging in the Canadian national news media. Using a critical discourse analysis of news quotations, this study identifies three main discourses circulating in news about Meng’s arrest and provides insight into how those discourses are linked to powerful individuals and interest groups at five levels of analysis. This study finds that the national news media positions Meng’s arrest as part of a larger geo-political struggle between East and West. An analysis of quotation patterns and citation routines show that Chinese government quotes are positioned less objectively than quotes from either the US or Canadian government suggesting a bias toward “Western” elite sources, especially governments and experts.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Sarah Ganter
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Diasporic Asian cinema and cultural expression: A case of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-16
Abstract: 

In the era of globalization, the diasporas often face the tension migrants experience between multiple cultures. As an immigrant country, Canada is one of the countries with the largest population of Asian immigrants. However, the long-standing negative image of Asians still exists. They are still not viewed as legitimate participants in the country’s cultural and political fields. As a powerful representation of culture, films vividly express views about the phenomenon of the global diaspora. And film festivals work as platform to showcase. With an inherent ethnic focus, Asian film festivals are concerned with the intersection between Asian diaspora and Asian cinema, creating a physical space for sharing of experience through cinema, and providing an ideological space that informs and creates conducive dialogue concerning cultural expression and transnational issues. This paper will take the Vancouver Asian Film Festival in Vancouver, Canada, as a case study to explore the Asian diaspora’s cultural expression through cinema and discuss its significance in postcolonial discourses.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Kirsten McAllister
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Consumption downgrading in Chinese media: A fraud or a hideous truth

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-01
Abstract: 

In 2018, according to the data from Weibo, one of the most popular terms in China has been ‘consumption downgrading.’ The discussion online about 'consumption downgrading' gradually changed into a national panicking because the Chinese relate it with such as economic slowdown, rising living cost and house price, widening gap between rich and poor, and anxiety of China-U.S. trade war. My research explores how this term became a trend, and how the meaning behind it changed through time in the first part. In the second part, the article analyses the economic definition and mechanism of structural changes in consumption to see whether the ‘consumption downgrading' phenomenon in the media is real. In the third part, the article examines the deeper factors that caused the national panicking led by the discussion of ‘consumption downgrading.' In the last part, the article summaries the government's role in channeling public opinion and regulating the market.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Daniel Ahadi
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.

Media bias in the U.S.’ Big Three TV networks

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-20
Abstract: 

The discussion of media bias has a long history in the field of media studies, but the subjective essence of bias makes it hard to define as well as challenging to measure. The model that statistically analyzes the relationship between how the presidential job approval rating changes and the likelihood of that being aired used in this paper can enable us to overcome the problems in previous studies. Applying the model to the U.S.’ big three TV networks’ evening news programs, we find that two of them have apparent biases on the whole. Especially NBC presents a clear preference for negative news about Obama and positive news about Trump. Considering the power these networks possess on shaping public opinion, the discussion of media bias remains essential.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Sun-ha Hong
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essay) M.A.