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

Receive updates for this collection

Chinese Square Dance, Media, and Ideological Dynamics in Contemporary China

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-08-20
Abstract: 

In China, square dance refers to a dancing activity named after where it usually occurs, a public square. Contemporary Chinese square dance started in the 1980s, in the wake of the Chinese Communist Party’s Reform and Opening Up policy. My paper explores Chinese square dance as a collective method of expression under contemporary ideological dynamics, which combine earlier socialism and the more recent neoliberalism. It entails the study of Chinese domestic news media, which represent the dialectical tensions of socialist and neoliberal ideologies when presenting the image of square dance. Using Chinese square dance as a focal point to study the interplay between media, society and the party state, we see a dynamic struggle occurring between the often despised, orthodox socialism and the arguably heterodox, yet penetrative neoliberal way of life.

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

Communicating Communes: A Case Study of Urban Communing Movement in South Korea

Date created: 
2015-09-08
Abstract: 

Bin-Zib [in Korean, empty/guests’ house] is an urban housing movement in Seoul, South Korea. In a society where, like many others, home ownership has increasingly become a matter of financial speculation rather than residency, the founders of Bin-Zib attempted to overturn the idea of private property associated with housing by turning housing from a form of property to what this thesis theorizes as the common. Starting out with one rented apartment in 2008, Bin-Zib members have expanded the scope of their communing experiment to include a network of homes, a café, and a cooperative bank, by inventing an array of strategies founded on the primacy of radical politics in everyday life. Based on an extended period of participant observation, analysis of online and print texts, and in-depth interviews with 32 residents, this thesis explores how Bin-Zib’s residents have struggled to create different practices of housing in a thoroughly neoliberalized urban setting. The community’s emphasis on heterogeneity, egalitarianism and openness has both departed from traditional left politics and propelled them to create an experimental and highly successful commune within and against capitalism. Drawing on Jacques Rancière's theory of subjectivation, this thesis investigates the politics of everyday life and expanding communism.

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

Promoting Women’s Awareness towards Change in Nigeria: the Role of Literature

Date created: 
2015-08-07
Abstract: 

This paper examines women’s struggle to overcome marginalization in a sexist and a patriarchal Nigerian society. It argues that fictional literature can be an effective tool for creating awareness, learning and dialogue among Nigerian women from various cultural, religious and ethnic background towards transformation. Literature, like any medium of communication, can be used to mobilize social change. This argument is illustrated through a literary analysis of three novels by three renowned female Nigerian writers: Efuru (1966) by Flora Nwapa, Second Class Citizen (1974) by Buchi Emecheta and Purple Hibiscus (2003) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The authors project womanhood in a positive light, upholding the potentials of women by making role models out of each female protagonist. Women’s efforts to free themselves from the bondage of tradition, politics, marriage and most importantly male dominance are what makes these three novels extremely powerful. This paper intends to show how literature tries to open up the neglected subject of women oppression in Nigeria and create awareness.

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

The Terrorists are Coming! The Terrorists are Coming! (or are they?): A Critical Discourse Analysis of The Anti-Terrorism Act, Bill C-51 in Canadian Newspapers

Date created: 
2015-08-07
Abstract: 

This paper argues that the Canadian mainstream print news media helps to legitimate the increase in security measures, government agency powers, and new legislation in Canada through the dissemination of a discourse of terrorism, as well as through legitimation of the types of questions being asked about terrorism, and Canada’s response to it. To reflect on how the mainstream print news media are using the discourse of terrorism news articles from The Globe and Mail and the National Post about Bill C-51 were analyzed using critical discourse analysis. The analysis shows that there are inherent assumptions present within the discourse of terrorism related to race, nationality and causation. How terrorism is conceptualized and spoken about needs to be changed. The role of the Canadian military in provoking violence against the state, the hegemony of counter-terrorism responses and the discourse of terrorism, and the existence of counter-terrorism measures need to be critically analyzed for the future.

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

From Militant to Military: The Ambivalent Politics of Liberal Feminism in the American War on Terror

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-08-07
Abstract: 

The widespread use of feminist, human rights, and international development discourse for justifying military intervention is part of a long and storied tradition of imperial feminism – a tradition which is deeply embedded into the normative Western ideologies of neoliberalism and modernization. However, the narrative of feminism that has been appropriated by the US military in order to justify the war on terror is that of liberal feminism; it is a discourse of feminism that privileges a white, middle-class, Western audience. In other words, it is blind to the historically disproportionate experience of oppression faced by women of colour. On a global scale, liberal feminism undermines the agency of women’s movements in the global south by assuming the universality – as well as the superiority – of Western human rights discourse. This paper will examine how the liberal feminist discourse became a dominant narrative in the war on terror. It will also analyze the implications of that dominance – both global and local.

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

How Social Media Users Negotiate Self-Censorship in the Online Public Sphere

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-08-21
Abstract: 

Research about the public sphere and social media often focus on what is being posted, rather than examining what is being omitted or why. The aim of this research is to explore this gap by providing ethnographic, qualitative research on how social media users negotiate self-censorship while engaging in the online public sphere.

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

Coastal Church: Community through Connectivity

Date created: 
2015-09-18
Abstract: 

The thesis presents an ethnographic survey of the mediatization of religion at Coastal Church, a non-denominational Christian institution located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Coastal seamlessly integrates digital media into its approach to worship, scripture dissemination as well as the proselytization of new members. Study findings suggest that digital media integration at Coastal allow for more interpersonal connections among worshippers as well as the fostering of deeper in-group solidarity in the Coastal community. Digital media integration further allows for heightened levels of hierarchical control and efficiency in message transmission by Coastal’s pastoral team to its congregation. However, results also indicate that a reliance on digital media by Coastal may foster a learned distraction among worshippers, producing an arguably shallower relationship with religious materials and values. On balance the thesis argues that mediatization of religion at Coastal is reflective of a longstanding trend in Christian religious observance to evolve in a technologically integrated manner so as to not lose relevance, an aspect of the religion hearkening back to its earliest days.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Gary McCarron
Jan Marontate
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

"O Canada": Recognizing Gay Pornography as a Part of Canadian Culture

Date created: 
2015-08-07
Abstract: 

In 2014, the CRTC warned three adult channels to conform to Canadian content regulations. The general response by op-ed writers and bloggers surrounding this issue was one of trivialization. These writers believed and argued the CRTC was wasting its time, as well as taxpayers’ money, enforcing Canadian content regulations in pornography — a product thought to have no redeeming social or cultural value. However, this capstone takes a different stance on the issue, arguing pornography and its industry as a product and business like any other with cultural and economic implications in Canada and the rest of the world that must be taken seriously. This paper argues that Canadian-produced gay pornography not only fits the Canadian government’s definition of a cultural product, but also the CRTC’s criteria for a Canadian product. In the end, this capstone argues gay pornography as a part of Canadian culture worth studying and critiquing like any other mediated text.

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

The Bombing of Air India Flight 182: Demanding Justice, Public Inquiries, and Acts of Citizenship

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-07-30
Abstract: 

On June 23, 1985 Air India Flight 182 exploded over the Irish Sea, killing all 329 people onboard the aircraft The attack was planned and executed on Canadian soil, and the majority of passengers were Canadian citizens. Canadian authorities failed to effectively investigate the bombing, and provide families of the victims with adequate support for the traumatic losses they underwent (Air India Inquiry Report, 2010). This is despite families’ repeatedly demanding the Canadian government for information, services, and a thorough criminal investigation into the bombings. Many families claimed the government treated them like “second-rate” citizens and questioned whether systemic racism was a factor in how the criminal investigation was handled (for example see Public Hearings, 2006, p.47). Like other racialised Canadians in the 1980s, families of Air India Flight 182 victims mobilized to demand justice. Arguing that the bombings were a “Canadian issue” they pressured the government to call a public inquiry. In 2005, the Canadian government announced the Official Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182, which was mandated to examine the failures of the criminal investigation and to provide recommendations to prevent future acts of terrorism in Canada. In 2006, the Air India Inquiry began with public hearings where victims’ families gave testimonies that were meant to help understand the “human element” of the tragedy. Families’ testimonies were transcribed into fourteen volumes with over 1,000 pages that detailed their grief, the impact of the bombing on their lives, the negligent treatment by the Canadian government, and their political struggles for recognition over twenty years. This thesis examines families’ testimonies and triangulates their statements with media reports and excerpts from the federal Hansard debates to (a) reconstruct the steps they took to demand justice, and (b) examine the way they used discourses of citizenship to demonstrate how their government failed them. Using families’ testimonies as evidence, this thesis challenges conventional definitions of multicultural citizenship, arguing that discourses of citizenship need to consider the agency of subjects and the challenges they face when they demand justice. This thesis draws on the concept of “acts of citizenship” (Isin, 2009; 2012) to show that citizenship needs to be understood through the actions subjects take in their pursuit of justice. In Communication Studies, this thesis offers a new approach to examining public inquiries (Salter, 2007) and the construction of identity in relation to racialization (Hall, 1990; Jiwani, 2006) by drawing on the scholarship of Bannerji (2000), Dhamoon (2009), Isin (2012), Miki (2004) and Nyers (2004) who argue that current models of citizenship are rooted in relations of exclusion.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Kirsten E. McAllister
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

"Memory is a River": Imbert Orchard and the Sound of Time and Place

Date created: 
2015-04-14
Abstract: 

This thesis is an examination of the radio production techniques and media theories of Canadian Imbert Orchard (1909-1991). Throughout his career at the CBC and a brief period as lecturer at Simon Fraser University, he championed notions such as ‘aural history’ and ‘document in sound’ over oral history and documentary. His system of ‘levels of remove’ intentionally employed acoustic impressions of time and place as a means of representing different historical perspectives within the radio format. Through a comparison with radio documentaries produced by his contemporaries, Glenn Gould (CBC) and the World Soundscape Project (CBC and SFU), the thesis makes apparent a theme of preservationist values with progressive techniques on CBC Radio. By analyzing archived materials and production techniques, the thesis aims to situate Orchard alongside these well-documented historical figures of Canadian sound studies in order to emphasize the importance of his concept of aural history.

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