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

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Men's formal help-seeking experiences following female perpetrated intimate partner violence

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-09-09
Abstract: 

Traditionally, IPV has been viewed as a gendered phenomenon, with a focus on women. However, victimization surveys and emerging research have started to explore the experiences of male victims, particularly in relation to their reluctance to seek help and their predominantly negative experiences upon doing so. To expand on the literature, this qualitative study is exploratory in nature and aims to better understand the formal help-seeking experiences of male victims of severe female perpetrated IPV. A total of 389 male victims responded to an open-ended qualitative survey question administered in the United States. Thematic analysis of their responses was conducted, and five main themes and a number of sub-themes were identified, namely: the context of formal help-seeking and types of abuse experienced, negative experiences with police, courts, and IPV victim agencies, and barriers to formal help-seeking. The gender paradigm theory and stigmatization theories informed the discussion of the results, and ultimately it was found that male victims who seek formal help report overwhelmingly negative experiences as a result of societal expectations surrounding gender roles and hegemonic masculinity, and male victims who do not seek formal help report barriers related to internalized stigma, shame, and embarrassment in their reasoning. Various recommendations for policy and practice are discussed in light of these findings, and issues of generalizability are taken into consideration.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Alexandra Lysova
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Spawning trouble: A criminological examination of salmon aquaculture in coastal British Columbia

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-08-23
Abstract: 

Despite considerable evidence of ecological harm, ongoing breaches of law and regulation and systemic failure on the part of regulators, the salmon aquaculture industry has to date been spared criminological consideration. This dissertation aims to begin to address this lacuna through an interrogation of the discourse of environmental harm and risk associated with salmon farming in British Columbia, as represented through a significant moment in its history, the Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River. An ethnographic content analysis of the Commission hearings was undertaken, which drew on the Framework methodology. In making meaning of the data, I enlist several theoretical frameworks, including political ecology and risk as theorized in risk society and governmentality scholarship. To this end, I draw on the work of Ulrich Beck, for whom the development of the “risk society” in which a critical-reflexive engagement with the ecological risks of techno-industrialization is a central preoccupation. This is compared with analyses derived from Michel Foucault, where risk is viewed as a form of governmentality. I contend that the environmental governance of salmon aquaculture through “sustainable development” manifests an expression of biopolitical power, deriving from and operating upon a network of relations between the population, the resources upon which it depends and the environment. Material relations are also considered through the lens of Treadmill of Production theory, with a focus on both the drivers of the treadmill as originally conceptualized – capital, labour and state – and countervailing forces such environmental and Indigenous groups. Through a process of capital accumulation via intensive agri-industrial production, the salmon aquaculture industry externalizes the costs of its ecological additions and withdrawals, engendering local, regional and even global impacts through spatially and temporally networked global systems of production and consumption. In this dynamic, the regulatory system is a site of contestation. I consider this adumbration of the material and ideological relations of power with a generative intent and take up some of its overarching implications for engaging with the regulation of salmon aquaculture and with other systems of ecological governance in British Columbia and beyond.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Joan Brockman
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Upvoting extremism: Exploring a far-right ‘virtual community’ on Reddit

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-24
Abstract: 

Since the advent of the internet, right-wing extremists have been exploiting online platforms to build ‘virtual communities’ among like-minded peers. Research in this area has tended to focus on extremists’ use of internet platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. Overlooked in these discussions, however, has been an exploration of the social news aggregation site: Reddit. In response to this gap, the current study explores the nature of right-wing extremism in user-submitted comments posted to r/The_Donald, a notorious subreddit community, through the lens of social movement theory. The results of the thematic analysis highlight that, on r/The_Donald, right-wing extremists use Reddit’s unique voting algorithm as a tool to mobilize like-minded members by promoting the community’s most extreme othering discourses against two prominent out-groups: Muslims and the Left. In particular, r/The_Donald’s ‘sense of community’ facilitates identity work among its members by creating an environment wherein members’ extreme views are continuously validated.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Garth Davies
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Unraveling the foster care effect: An examination of criminal outcomes

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-15
Abstract: 

Youth who are dually involved in both foster care and criminal justice systems represent a small minority of individuals with multi-problem risk profiles. Indeed, prior research has found that foster care youth are disproportionately more likely to continue a chronic level of offending in adulthood (Yang, McCuish, & Corrado, 2017). However, the nature of this relationship remains theoretically underexplored, and empirically underexamined. Extant research suggests that adverse childhood experiences have prevailing effects beyond the developmental period of childhood, and thus longitudinal research is required to further elucidate the effects of foster care on offending. The current thesis was guided by three theoretical frameworks under the developmental life-course criminology paradigm (propensity, developmental, and life-course theories). Using data from the Incarcerated Serious and Violent Young Offender Study, the criminal offending trajectories of 678 incarcerated youth were examined. A history of foster care placement was predictive of a high rate chronic offending trajectory, and this relationship was independent of hypothesized moderating variables including gang involvement, negative self-identity, substance use versatility, and parental maltreatment. Findings suggest greater need for ongoing support for foster care youth in their transition to adulthood.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Evan McCuish
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Risky places and criminogenic facilities: Understanding property crime at micro-spatial units

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-06-24
Abstract: 

Criminologists have long-known that spatial crime patterns vary across different geographic areas. Until recently, research has shown that crime is highly concentrated at a small number of micro-places. Subsequent studies have found that these spatial patterns are generalizable across different urban settings and are relatively stable over time. Although more scholars are beginning to recognize the importance of measuring crime at places, little is known about the explanatory factors of crime at the micro-spatial scale. Using police incident data and land-use information obtain from the Vancouver Open-Data catalogue, zero-inflated negative binomial models were used to understand the spatial patterns of various types of property crimes at street segments. The results demonstrate that certain facilities have a significant impact on these crime types at the micro-spatial level. Depending on the crime type, the strength of the relationship varies in magnitude and level of significance.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

When survivors speak, what does Twitter say?: A multiple case study of #metoo

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-23
Abstract: 

On October 15th, 2017, actor Alyssa Milano tweeted “#metoo” in solidarity with women coming forward with allegations of sexual assault against Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein, stating that she too had experienced sexual violence. Since then, #metoo has seen unprecedented numbers of people participating in discussions across the globe, challenging the culture of silence that often envelopes sexual violence. To provide insight into how society discusses sexual violence, this study uses a multiple case study design involving three prominent hearings in which women give a victim impact statement or testimony: the Larry Nassar sentencing hearing, the Bill Cosby sentencing hearing, and Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. Through a content analysis of 2419 tweets, the findings reveal that the majority of Twitter discourse ties into larger discussions on privilege, provides survivors with support, condemns the accused or convicted, or critiques the #metoo movement and survivors of sexual violence.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Richard Frank
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Pathways to early mortality for serious and violent young offenders

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-07-15
Abstract: 

Early mortality is significantly more common among offenders compared to non-offenders but less is known about the specific mechanisms that increase this risk. To address this gap, Tremblay and Paré (2003) specified three pathways to early mortality in offender populations. The general-hazard model suggests that early mortality is driven by low self-control. The occupational-hazard model attributes early mortality to the hazards directly associated with offending. The strain-hazard model emphasizes the prevalence of self-inflicted deaths resulting from differential exposure to strain. Using self-report, official, and social network data from the Incarcerated Serious and Violent Young Offender Study, the current study operationalized and tested these models. Findings from multinomial logistic regression analyses showed no support for the general-hazard model but identified several predictors of early mortality across the strain-hazard and occupational-hazard models, including negative self-identity, parental dysfunction, and youth offending. Social network findings showed partial support for the occupational-hazard model. Specifically, the accumulation of criminal social capital may protect against early mortality outcomes. Recommendations for policy and practice are made with reference to these findings.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Evan McCuish
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

A tale of two theories: Applying social disorganization theory and routine activities theory to Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-06-25
Abstract: 

Social disorganization theory and routine activities theory have been extensively applied separately as theoretical frameworks in the spatial analysis of crime, resulting in a large body of generally supportive literature. As hypothetical explanations for complex social phenomena, criminological theories can impact how studies are framed, and how the crime problem is approached. Thus, it is important to continuously evaluate theories in various geographical, as well as contemporary contexts. This study uses both theories in tandem to examine their ability to explain property crime in Vancouver, British Columbia, using 2016 census data. Both theories found weak to no support. Of particular note is that all of the variables designated as proxies for ethnic heterogeneity in social disorganization theory were not statistically significant and therefore not useful in the explanation of property crime. Of the statistically significant variables, five did not behave as theoretically expected; however, explanations for these theoretical contradictions make sense in the context of Vancouver.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Public parks and crimes of property: Get out there and enjoy the sunshine, lock your cars and hide your bike

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-05-23
Abstract: 

There is greater cause now for cities to promote for themselves the wider distribution of greenspaces across the length and width of their urbanized areas. These, apart from their offering practical solutions to environmental problems, render quality services to nearby human populations, too. Greenspaces are not, however, well-received in all quarters, and a particular category of greenspace, the public park, is regularly lamented for its unfortunate habit of concentrating crime. Generally speaking, this has been found true of parks, but specifically speaking, there has been little done that could corroborate for the many, particular parks in the city the impression made by general results. This study explores where and when parks are not generative of crime and finds that after accounting for the unique socio-economic and demographic circumstances of different city areas only very few parks, and all of a particular category, are connected with higher rates of property crime.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Andresen
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The emergence of the Cannabis Act: A case study

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-04-12
Abstract: 

This case study identifies the key factors that preceded the introduction of the Cannabis Act, using newspaper articles from the Globe and Mail between January 1, 2000 and April 14, 2017. It develops a chronology of cannabis-related events that influenced the social, political, or legal nature of cannabis, and categorizes other stories into five major themes: judicial decisions, medical regulations, commercial industry, international developments, and public opinion. Analysis reveals three key findings that set the stage for legalization, including the government’s failure to create a constitutionally sound cannabis access program, Colorado and Washington’s legal precedent, and a ballooning commercial industry. Law reform benefits, such as product quality, accessibility, and tax revenue are discussed and contrasted with several limitations of the Act, including consumption-related risks, criminal penalties, and ongoing stigma. Overall, the Act is a bold reform that marks a new era in Canadian drug policy.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Neil Boyd
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Criminology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.