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

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Exorcising with Buddha : Palaung Buddhism in northern Thailand

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology) - / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Globalization, tourism and the commodification of imagination : an ethnography of backpacking

Author: 
Date created: 
2003
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology) - / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Party boys : identity, community, and the circuit

Author: 
Date created: 
2003
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology) - / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

Where Spirit Meets Matter- A participatory gaze on collaborative planning for a United Church construction and development project

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Abstract The conundrum of what the community and individual roles are in the sustainability of our physical and social environments is a global issue taking precedence at a local scale. Tensions between neo-liberal forces and sustainability goals often alienate community members from participating in decision making and policy outcomes. Through the exploration of a grassroots, community-initiated, collaborative planning process for a construction project, the community-level reaction to global pressures, dominant rhetoric, and the social needs of the community becomes evident through gazing at the dynamics between the technical experts and community participants within the planning process. The dominant rhetoric of place, identity, and power from technical experts often transfer into the design and construction of built environments. While construction projects require the technical input of engineers, architects, and planners, input from community members—who will live, work, and utilize the built environments—is also critical to achieving sustainability goals.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
M
Department: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Timing is everything? The impact of gender and disability on the life course

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Living with a physical disability is a personal and social process. Increasingly, research has shown that the presence of disability affects family formation, education and employment trajectories and outcomes. This raises questions about why life trajectories and outcomes of disabled people are variable and how individual agency and social processes affect life outcomes. In this qualitative study these issues are explored using interview findings of ten women and ten men with early and adult onset disabilities. Findings indicate that those with early onset often experience disrupted education trajectories and unpaid work histories. Those with adult onset disabilities have disrupted work trajectories, with women reporting greater rates of divorce or delayed childbearing as a result of disability. The value of this research comes from recognizing that age of disability onset and gender have distinct consequences on life course experiences and outcomes.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
P
Department: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Depo-provera and the regulation of indigenous women's reproduction

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This thesis examines the role of socioeconomic, political and historical factors that contribute to the regulation of young Indigenous women’s reproduction through the prescribing of Depo-Provera. This study utilizes critical perspectives and qualitative analysis to focus on the intersection of neoliberalism and risk discourse at the site of contraceptive prescription. Based on a critical discursive analysis of several texts, this research illustrates how dominant discourses reflect colonial relations and neoliberal ideals in framing the characteristics of Depo-Provera users. I show that texts aimed at Third World women and/or “sexually at risk” women living in “confounding life situations” seek to control their reproduction with (health) provider-controlled contraceptives such as Depo-Provera. The analysis reveals the ways in which international and Canadian texts construct the identity of young Indigenous women as a risk population in need of reproductive regulation.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
A
Department: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Studying social work: neoliberalism, institutional ethnography and a program of undergraduate social work education

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Starting from the observation that social work students and faculty conceive of social work as an area of thought and activity separate from its practice, this thesis explores the historical and current relationship between social work education and (neo)liberal governance. Drawing on the theoretical developments of Rose (1996a; 1996b) and Fraser (1989), qualitative interviews with students and faculty at a social work program in British Columbia and analyses of program-related texts, I argue that social work education methods fail to interrogate the professional power of social workers associated with credentials, policy and agency mandates. Ultimately, social work education preserves the definition of social work as an activity of social justice without successfully protesting the neoliberal trend toward elimination and reduction of state social welfare provisions current in Canadian social services.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
D
Department: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Intertwining gazes and voices: representational practices of minoritarian filmmakers in Vancouver

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This thesis aims to reconfigure the practice of ethnographic filmmaking by learning from the insights of four minority filmmakers. Using renewed notions of authorship and creative agency, I explore each filmmaker’s approach to film production, as well as her relationship with her work and audience. Because of her unique sociohistorical background, I argue, she is able to experiment with a variety of representational techniques. Through ‘border filmmaking,’ she exercises multi-dimensional/-directional vision and speech, and strives to continually transgress and dissolve personal/social boundaries. Such intertwining gazes and voices challenge the conventional paradigm of ethnographic film, which has been built on notions of culture and identity as passive, bounded entities. Thus, I argue for a more experimental approach that stresses the negotiability of filmic meanings. I also argue that ‘shared’ ethnographic filmmaking must politicize the very process of production, which will consequently enable active dialogues in the academic and public spheres.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
P
Department: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Dress and identity among the black Tai of Loei province, Thailand

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This thesis examines dress, textiles, and identity of the Tai Dam or Black Tai living in Loei Province, Northeastern Thailand. The thesis focuses on the contemporary role of traditional and tradition-based Black Tai textiles and dress as material and symbolic representations of Black Tai ethnic and socio-cultural identity. The ethnographic research utilizing participant observation, interviews, observation of behaviour and interactions provided a wealth of information for analysis. The interpretive analysis of textiles and ethnic dress reveals that dress and textiles serve a crucial role in ethnic and cultural continuity among the Black Tai peoples; however a number of types of traditional textiles have been lost due to acculturation and commercialization. Textiles continue to figure prominently in the religious beliefs and practices of the Tai Dam as well as serving as markers of status, functioning to promote cultural and social cohesion, and more recently serving as a means of economic development.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
M
Department: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Indigenous education and the post-secondary student support program: Colonial governance, neo-liberal imperatives, and gendered outcomes

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

The Post-Secondary Student Support Program funds higher education for status Indian and Inuit individuals. Since the 1970’s, program administration has devolved from the federal government to the Band level. From 1989, federal changes to the PSSSP have restricted length of funded study, imposed performance measures and a funding cap and implemented block funding mechanisms. This allowed the federal government to curtail costs while seemingly increasing First Nations’ autonomy and resources. Faced with funding restrictions, rising numbers of eligible students, increasing tuition and education expenses, First Nations have developed Local Operating Policies to guide student sponsorship decisions since, increasingly, not all students can be funded. Based on an analysis of federal policies, First Nations’ LOPs, and key informant interviews, this research uses critical discourse analysis to examine how colonialism, neo-liberalism, and patriarchy structure these processes of resource distribution and employ techniques of governmentality in the constitution of Aboriginal individuals and nations.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
J
Department: 
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)