Sociology and Anthropology - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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The colonial present: botanical gardens as sites of nationalism, environmentalism and aboriginality in British Columbia

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-12-08
Abstract: 

Recent scholarship on post-colonialism highlights the enduring legacies of colonial institutions. This thesis uses ethnographic research and historical analysis to investigate one set of colonial institutions: botanical gardens. The research was carried out in British Columbia, Canada and examines this site in relation to other British settler societies such as Australia. British botanical gardens played a key role in the larger colonial project. Such gardens were part of transnational scientific networks, which encouraged entrepreneurialism and guided people and plants through imperial centers. Canadian botanical gardens, as a social institution, have played a role in aboriginal dispossession and nationalist projects. These botanical gardens selectively erase and appropriate aboriginal knowledges and histories in ongoing projects of nation formation. Starting in the 1960s, botanical gardens in British settler societies, such as Canada, disrupted England’s reign as the key center and institutional compass as these post-colonial sites established their own transnational networks.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Michael J. Hathaway
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Curbing the laughter: exploring the manifestations of dark humour in “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-12-02
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the state of dark humour in sociology through an exploration of the humour found in television sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm (Curb). After analyzing the current literature on humour, this thesis proceeds on the premise that some perspectives on dark humour are much more heavily emphasized than others, and those interpretations of dark humour that project a positive, therapeutic image of the world are favoured. Extracting and discussing these themes from Curb allow the thesis to argue that there are under appreciated aspects of dark humour that are too often taken for granted in humour studies; specific aspects of humour studies explored are: humour’s relationship to social transgression, the effect of laughter on interpretation, and a presupposition of ‘happy endings’ in comic media. The thesis concludes that the state of humour studies requires ongoing reappraisal to ensure that a variety of perspectives are utilized when researching humour.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dany Lacombe
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Why Gardasil? Understanding decisions for vaccination

Author: 
Date created: 
2010-10-08
Abstract: 

This thesis describes how university students, aged 19 to 30, come to see the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil as a worthwhile investment for their health. First, the science behind Gardasil and the social, political, and economic impacts of the vaccine in Canada are explored. Then, drawing on semi-structured interviews and a focus group with students and health care practitioners, I find risk is communicated through various discourses surrounding Gardasil. Once participants learn they are at risk for HPV and cervical cancer, they view their health as at risk through unsafe sexual practices. Ultimately, some participants express a need to practice ‘safe’ sex and access preventative health care, including vaccination with Gardasil. Gardasil is framed as an individual choice and a way to obtain empowerment for young women. Yet, decisions for vaccination related more to the influence of risk discourse and the encouragement of kin, peers and health care providers.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Stacy Pigg
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Towards developing a social impact assessment: Involuntary resettlement in the San Roque Dam case, Philippines

Abstract: 

In cases of involuntary resettlement, project-proponents are required under institutionalized international guidelines to conduct feasibility studies (pre-project construction) and prepare social monitoring programs (post-project construction) of the people-affected. This study, using a grounded theory/ethnographic research method, explores mutually dependent networks between project-proponents, local government units and project "beneficiaries" as a way to see how the implementation of compensation entitlements through livelihood reconstruction operates informally. My data revealed that social safeguards were in place superficially. The trauma of having been displaced is exacerbated with the loss of usual social support mechanisms and the associated dilution of cultural land-based norms. My results showed that project-affected participants' sense of self (physically and mentally) is attached to poorly implemented livelihood reconstruction schemes and compensation entitlements. This study uncovers some of the limitations of social impact assessment lacking analysis of the distribution of power in stakeholder relations.

Document type: 
Thesis
Supervisor(s): 
Fernando De Maio
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Nanotechnology and health: from boundary object to bodily intervention

Abstract: 

Nanotechnology is commonly understood to involve the manipulation of individual molecules and atoms. Increasingly, healthcare practices in British Columbia are articulated through the nanotechnological in relationship to the body. The hope for better treatment and diagnosis of disease is located in the specificity of nanotechnological applications – the finely tuned targeting of cells and treatments geared towards individual molecular profiles. However, this same specificity also alarms regulators, activists and consumer groups in the potential for increased toxicity. Drawing from participant observation, ethnographic interviews, and theoretical orientations adopted by Susan Leigh Star and Jeffrey Bowker, this thesis explores three questions: 1) How can nanotechnology inhabit multiple contexts at once and have both local and shared meaning; 2) How can people who live in one community draw their meanings from people and objects situated there and communicate with those inhabiting another; and 3) What moral and political consequences attend each of these questions?

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Michael Kenny
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Punishment through exclusion : ruling relations and maximum security in the Creating choices era

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Arlene McLaren
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The Communist Party of Canada during the Great Depression : organizing and class consciusness

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Gary Teeple
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Conversations with my sister : an HIV/AIDS counterstory

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Parin Dossa
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
(Dissertation) Ph.D.

Dis-guise of anthropology

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dara Culhane
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
Research project (M.A.)

Available but not accessible : the tripartite system of maternity and parental leave provision in Canada

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2003
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Jane Pulkingham
Department: 
Arts and Social Sciences: Sociology and Anthropology
Thesis type: 
Project (M.A.)