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

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The discursive style and reactionary politics of the Manosphere

Date created: 
2019-06-13
Abstract: 

This study aims to unpack the styles of discourse adopted and implemented by the Manosphere, an online community of self described Men's Rights Activists (MRAs) and “Red Pillers”. Through a Critical Discourse Analysis of Manosphere texts, the research explores how issues of gender and race inform the culture and politics of the community. It identifies common linguistic markers that distinguish the Manosphere from the historical Men's Rights Movement and liken it instead, to the the Alt-Right movement. For example, devices like metaphor, hyperbole and dog whistles operate in the discourse as modes for negotiating meaning making and accelerating the dissemination of extreme right discourse in mainstream political spaces. I argue that this process in part explains why particularly since 2016 and the election of Donald Trump in the United States, political sentiment has become more open to the iterations of misogyny and racism emblematic of the Manosphere. I reference and reflect upon the renewed push towards gender normative thinking and how it intersects with ultranationalism in Manosphere discourse. Finally, I explore how best to categorize the Manosphere—as an ideology, a political formation or something else entirely.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stuart Poyntz
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Industrial imaginaries: Local voices on Carrier Corp., Tesla Motors, and unevenly developing capitalism

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-02-27
Abstract: 

This historically-conscious dissertation examines two main case studies representing different positions in the capitalist process of uneven development. Inspired by Gramscian theory, it captures the common-sense beliefs expressed through various communication channels when cities face either job losses or a new corporate opportunity. Among the key questions are: Who do those affected by layoffs think is to blame? And what criticisms, if any, surface in local media when public money is used to attract jobs? The first case study centers on an imperiled Carrier plant in Indianapolis, IN, which during the 2016 campaign season became the site of a national conversation on offshoring and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Management announced that 2,100 jobs would ship to Mexico, while a related factory in Huntington, IN, also faced closure. The second case study examines Tesla and Panasonic’s Gigafactory 1 outside of Reno and Sparks, NV, since its siting in 2014. A $1.25 billion tax-abatement deal with Nevada made their project possible. The primary methods I use are media discourse analyses and interviews with workers and city councilmembers in four cities. Among the findings are several explanations circulated for Carrier’s decision that often differed given their source; these included shareholder interest, NAFTA, undue taxation, greed, and ineffectual workers and unions. I analyze these through lenses of common-sense ideology and journalistic practices, and I argue that the criticism mostly addresses symptoms of capitalism only. For solutions, Indianan officials mostly pushed for attracting new businesses and upskilling the workforce, which are neoliberal presumptions. Those in marginal positions typically pushed for organizing, voting for Donald Trump, or boycotting Carrier, which I unpack ideologically and materially. In the Tesla case, I argue that a media spectacle surrounding Elon Musk and his brand helped sell the Gigafactory as a boon to all Nevadans despite a small group of elites benefiting. Criticism of the deal in local media was largely limited to bourgeois procedure and legislative tinkering. Capitalist image, spectacle, and the lack of material follow-through link the case studies. Additionally, I show how officials view their cities and how they hope to move them forward.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Richard Gruneau
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

A new reality is better than a new movie! Committed documentary and class struggle at the end of the American New Left

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-02-27
Abstract: 

This thesis investigates the political conjuncture surrounding the U.S. New Communist Movement’s break with the New Left of the 1960s, tracing the coordinates of this ideological shift through the lens of committed documentary. I argue that a materialist analysis of committed documentary necessitates understanding the form according to an aesthetics of political use-value. By attending to the question of documentary’s political utility, I demonstrate how films were used as cultural tools for conducting hegemonic struggles over certain political issues. Focusing on the contested dialectical relation between class and race, I trace period debates over the political status of the black proletariat through readings of four documentaries: Columbia Revolt (1968), Black Panther (1968), Finally Got the News (1970), and Wildcat at Mead (1972). Through these analyses, I argue for the centrality of political organization to any useful theory and practice of cultural commitment as a form of revolutionary politics.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Zoë Druick
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Nigerians perception of products made-in-China: a catalyst effect of the standard of living

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-27
Abstract: 

This study discusses Nigerian perceptions of Chinese-made products by examining whether the country of origin (COO) impacts their consumption choices of these products. It argues that low-income level and the fall in the standard of living of the average Nigerian influences their perception and subsequently contributes to the increased purchase of products made in China. An extensive survey was conducted to explore various facets of this decision-making process and how it is affected by the multi-dimensional way in which China is perceived. It also reviews Immanuel Wallerstein’s world-system theory, which addresses core-peripheral relations in order to understand the international dynamics underlying production and consumption of Chinese-made products in Nigeria.

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.

The role of media in alleviating sectarian conflict: an exploration of peace journalism in Egypt

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-22
Abstract: 

Through looking at Muslim-Christian relations in Egypt, this research delves into the dynamics that showcase media’s complicity in violence committed through denial of existing sectarian problems and the reinforcement of status-quo inequities. It explores how the model of Peace Journalism can be applied to foster more inclusion, as well as mitigate conflict.

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.

Representations of persons with disabilities in the media: A case study of Ghana’s local movie Industry (Kumawood)

Date created: 
2018-08-02
Abstract: 

From very primitive notions about persons with disabilities to a society that has become more accepting to persons with disabilities, Ghana has made some recognisable progress in this regard. Such progress includes reduced stigmatization, the establishment of Persons with Disability rights act in 2006, incorporating disability studies in mainstream university curriculum, among other initiatives. Such progress is seen in how the media, especially the news media for more responsible and progressive representations of persons with disabilities with the result that there is greater opportunity and access to all facilities and services for disabled persons. This research focuses on Kumawood, one of the most powerful and influential movie companies in Ghana. In particular, this work explores and analyses the impact and influence of representations of persons with disabilities in Kumawood productions, and the positive and negative attitudes and perceptions that might result from these representations. The aim of the research is to identify if such progress is evident in the local movie industry. The literature review covers the progress made in disability research in Ghana and focuses on how impactful media is on the notions of disability, most especially in a developing country like Ghana.

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

How the introduction of CGTN is popularizing the growing African continent through positive reporting: A Case study of China Global Television Network in Nairobi, Kenya

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-21
Abstract: 

Africa is full of mixed stories about desperation, lost and despair, and when young Africans offer an alternative narrative; they often are challenged to defend themselves. Most people like to think of Africa as a sum of its problems and the problem with this is it has created a single story that has created one perspective of Africa, which we have allowed to be told about us as if it is the only perspective of Africa. The problem with this is if the only stories about us are desperation, lost, diseases and despair then how can we image anything better than that? Over time, there has been an outcry and a desire for an alternative media to broadcast African stories positively, and from the African perspective. The desire to ‘own the African story’ created an opportunity for the Chinese national broadcaster CCTV to launch its brand CCTV Africa in the continent. The network was later rebranded into what is now called China Global Television Network Africa (CGTN). With its African production center based in Nairobi, Kenya, CGTN Africa aims to report Africa stories to the African audiences and the rest of the world. This case study employs qualitative analysis of Talk Africa, one of the shows aired on CGTN featuring African stories to find out how the introduction of the CGTN Africa has popularized the African continent through positive reporting. In the analysis, the framing styles used in the show, effects, content, and the reporting tones are analyzed to determine the research findings and conclusions.

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

Historical analysis of the changing nature of masculinity in China

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-24
Abstract: 

This essay approaches the issue of masculinity through a historical analysis grounded in the Chinese context. It focuses on how the concept of masculinity has been negotiated in prominent examples of popular culture in contemporary China over the last three decades. To unpack these examples, this essay first traces conceptions of masculinity in both the west and China and the rise of a crisis of masculinity produced by social, economic and political changes in the West. The essay then analyzes contemporary representations of masculinity in China drawing on political economy to examine how the struggle over power is reflected in the struggle over masculinities as constructed within the contemporary Chinese media system. The essay concludes by suggesting that changing conceptions of masculinity reflect the dynamic mechanisms of power between the state, society, and media in the context of contemporary China.

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.

"I am here! But, I actually shouldn't be!!" An auto-ethnography on the remittance experience of an African international student in Canada

Date created: 
2018-08-14
Abstract: 

Papers about international students are typically quantitative, reducing individual international students to projections, statistics and numbers. Coincidentally, the other major keyword of this study, remittance, is also mainly studied using numbers and statistics. In this research however, the researcher, an international student who engages in remittance activities, uses her own experience to contest this ‘numeralization’. By exploring in great depth her own cultural background and the specific motivations for remittance, this paper demonstrates that remittance has a human face. Furthermore, the complexity of remittance is contextualized through the lens of culture.

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

Representation of muslims in Canadian newspapers: Comparing the coverage of the 2014 Parliament Hill shooting and the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-08-21
Abstract: 

In this research, representation of Muslim in Canadian newspaper is examined. Terrorism-related report has been becoming an essential part for newspaper since 2001 and terrorism is always hotly debated in the globe. With the appearance of terrorist group from Islam world, media relate terrorism and Islam world rather closely. How mass media reflect Islam world and Muslim has great impact on how the public think of Islam countries and their citizens. In this paper, the study mainly focus on how Canadian print media, newspaper in this case, construct image of Islam world and Muslim when they are covering terrorism story.

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.