Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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“A jewel of mine”: The murder of Maple Batalia and Gendered Violence in the Mainstream News Media

Date created: 
2015-01-16
Abstract: 

This thesis interrogates the ways in which Intimate Partner Homicide is represented by mainstream news media in Vancouver, British Columbia. By conducting a close reading of articles related to the murder of Maple Batalia between September 2011 and December 31 2012, this thesis examines how ethnicity, citizenship, and immigrant status inform news media coverage of violence, and asks whether these representations challenge or reify the dominant gendered narratives surrounding Intimate Partner Homicide. In particular, the thesis explores how South Asian masculinities are constructed by the mainstream news media via the representations of Batalia's father and her accused killer.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Lara Campbell
Catherine Murray
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Moving Beyond the Citizen's Shadow: South Asian Canadian Women's Agency

Author: 
Date created: 
2014-06-27
Abstract: 

Citizenship is more than a set of legal rights and includes social and cultural components that are actively negotiated; yet such negotiations often take place within a range of limited options. Without denying the individuality of immigrant experiences, it is important to observe the patterns that have emerged in South Asian women’s encounters with Canadian citizenship and immigration policies. Most South Asian women migrated to Canada as dependents and faced similar forms of subordination after moving to Canada. Mainstream society marginalized South Asians for their skin colour and ‘foreign’ accents, superficial indicators that were undergirded by a profound perception of racial difference. This study will explore how the meaning of citizenship has changed for South Asian Canadian women by focusing on two periods: 1919-1949 and 1967-1997. This thesis will argue that various legal, social, and cultural factors have constrained South Asian Canadian women’s citizenship experience but they have utilized their agency and autonomy to overcome the secondary status that these barriers have imposed on them.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Inderjeet's Oral History Interview
Simran's Oral History Interview
Pooja's Oral History Interview
Kel's Oral History Interview
Senior supervisor: 
Habiba Zaman
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Lesbian and Queer Generations in Vancouver: An Intergenerational Oral History Project

Date created: 
2014-06-20
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the possibilities of cross-generational oral history interviewing as a pedagogical tool for intergenerational conversation and broader historical understanding in queer communities. Through an analysis of the experiences of five younger queer women ages 19-30 who interviewed 15 older lesbians active in the lesbian feminist community in Vancouver during the 1970s and 80s, this research examines differences in identity formation and community building between these two ‘generational cohorts’. While lesbians in the 1970s and 80s created a vibrant and unprecedented culture and historical presence, few younger queer women are familiar with this history. This thesis argues that linear historical and generational thinking coupled with dominant heteronormative notions of kinship impacts queer communities, which tend to be uni-generational. These factors prevent or serve as barriers to cross-generational queer community building; prevent youth from knowing their connections to a shared queer history; and leave important legacies- such as lesbian feminism- in the forgotten past. This project disrupts these barriers to intergenerational connection and historical understanding and argues for the importance of re-examining the lesbian-feminist past.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Elise Chenier
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The Women’s Poverty–Empowerment Nexus: Engendering Microfinance in the Global Political Economy

Author: 
Date created: 
2014-06-06
Abstract: 

The creation of the women’s poverty-empowerment nexus in development discourses has legitimized the widespread use of microfinance. Despite the success of microfinance in supplying credit, the evidence to suggest it has substantially reduced poverty and increased women’s empowerment is mixed. This thesis examines the link between trends in the global political economy, microfinance, and gender. To reveal this link, a critical discourse analysis of development discourses and a content analysis of impact studies of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and BancoSol in Bolivia are employed to assess the gap between rhetoric and impacts of microfinance. Insights gained from Tanzania provide a deeper understanding as to why, despite the success of microfinance in delivering credit, poverty and gender inequality persist. This research reveals that far from addressing economic and social inequality, microfinance exists and functions within gendered power structures and relationships rather than resolving them.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Habiba Zaman
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

Pretty, Witty and Femme: Negotiations of Gender and Sex in Sartorial Representations on Tumblr - and - Smoking Hot Dykes: Smoking Imagery and Lesbian Style on Tumblr

Author: 
Date created: 
2013-01-30
Abstract: 

1. Pretty, Witty and Femme: Negotiations of Gender and Sex in Sartorial Representations on Tumblr. This paper addresses the primacy of visual representations of queer femme-ininity on the microblogging platform, Tumblr. Three femme styles are analyzed using a qualitative queer and feminist intersectional theoretical framework. The analysis revealed that sartorial expressions of femme-ininity on Tumblr reflect a postmodern approach to conscious gender presentation that re-defines. Sartorial negotiations of femme gender and sexual desire are complex and varied, and visibility as a sole sartorial strategy for subversion is restraining. 2. Smoking Hot Dykes: Smoking Imagery and Lesbian Style on Tumblr. This paper discusses the role of the cigarette as a component to a lesbian sartorial style on the website Tumblr, called pomo dyke style. The investigation examines how the cigarette fashions the pomo dyke in a qualitative analysis of images depicting this style. Findings revealed themes in imagery depicting the pomo dyke style, including melancholy, whiteness, thinness, and class rebellion. Fashionable deviance materializes on the queer who values wilfulness in self-presentation while disregarding factors influencing her privilege.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Mary Lynn Stewart
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essays) M.A.

Focusing on reality TV: exploring women's participation in talent-based competition shows

Date created: 
2013-04-15
Abstract: 

Reality TV has become a source of entertainment as well as scorn for North American audiences and critics. While American reality TV and their contestants have received much attention in media studies, very little has been written about Canadian reality show participants, despite the popularity of this type of programming in Canada. Women on both sides of the border who participate on reality TV are particularly scrutinized and those with high public profiles have faced an overwhelmingly negative backlash. Using a feminist cultural studies framework, this dissertation examines Canadian women's motivations and understanding of the reality TV process, from audition to post-show life. A total of 14 women from across Canada, who competed in such shows as Canada's Next Top Model, Canadian Idol, Project Runway Canada, So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Rock Star: INXS, and Popstars: Boy Meets Girl, were interviewed using a combination of online and in-person interviews. The women’s narratives of reality TV participation reflect and extend contemporary scholarly concerns and debates about women and celebrity culture, media power, television audiences, and new media technologies. Specifically, the interviews complicate current assertions and assumptions about women’s participation as either ‘empowering’ or ‘victimizing’ by illustrating how such participation cannot be isolated from economic factors and gender dynamics at play in contemporary models of television production. While the women have little to no control over how they are represented in these shows, they find ways to assert their agency that disrupts (but does not stop) the production process, while simultaneously ‘domesticating’ the space of reality TV in order to make it a habitable and liveable place. Finally, this dissertation makes two major methodological interventions into the study of television. Firstly, using a cultural studies approach to television research, the author understands reality show contestants as a distinct category of research respondents who challenge and blur rigid divisions between audience and text, and audience and producer. Secondly, the author draws on the tradition of self-reflexivity in feminist research in order to examine and theorize to what extent the interview process may position the researcher as a ‘scholar-fan’.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Cindy Patton
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Paid domestic labour as precarious work in China

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

Paid domestic labour in China revived in the early 1980s after the state began its transition from a socialist centrally planned economy to a socialist market-oriented economy. This dissertation focuses on what happened to gender relations as well as class equality in the wake of the development of private domestic service during this economic transition. Using a socialist feminist framework, the analysis of the current marketization of domestic labour is situated in both the context of global capitalism and the reconfigured nature of patriarchy under neoliberal governance, albeit in a socialist state. The current market-oriented labour system and specifically paid domestic workers’ situation in China can be understood through the inter-related nature of emerging capitalist markets, and historical patriarchal institutions related to both state socialism and the family. This dissertation analyzes the ways that market reforms in China have affected women and the state and their relationship to paid domestic work. The consequences of the marketization of various aspects of domestic life that used to have a more communal character have radically changed social reproduction responsibilities and have put them even more squarely on women in the private sphere. Economic and state policy changes related to social reproduction create both the new supply of and demand for paid domestic work. Based on interviews with domestic workers, their employers, their social advocates, and government officials, this investigation examines the economic and social security of domestic workers and provides information about their precarious work circumstances that could be improved through public policy. China is rapidly reconfiguring its regime of social reproduction and is in a period when new policy needs to be considered: the economic and social securities that had been provided by the pre-reform social reproduction regime are substantially weakened through the marketization of domestic labour.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
D
Department: 
Department of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

Islamic laws, gender discrimination and legal injustices: The Zina Hudood Ordinance of Pakistan and its implication for women -AND- Shared oppressions and narrative and cross-cultural communication through autobiography in the Muslim world

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

The first essay will examine the trend of sexual violence against women that emerged in Pakistan with the introduction of the Idamipation process through the implementation of the Sharia laws since 1979. The paper's main focus will be on rape and the state-legislation that governs it, namely the Zina Hudood Ordinance of 1979 and the Law ofEvidence of 1984, and how the gender-discriminatory nature of these laws in the name of religion serves to subjugate women. The second essay d evaluate the importance of M u s h women's autobiographical writings as a medlum for resistance and cross-cultural communication in the M u s h world through shared histories of gender-oppression. The essay will explore the writing of a Pakistani feudal wife, Tehmina Durrani through an analysis of her autobiography, My Feudal Lord, whch sets out to expose the Palustani feudal male elite and its mistreatment of women.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Department of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Essays (M.A.)

The scientific uncertainty of the harm and benefits of pesticides in organic and non-organic food

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

In this thesis it is argued that the relative safety of organic food versus non-organic food is complex and subjective. Expert and lay people are interviewed using scenarios to assess their differences in understanding of situations involving scientific uncertainty, namely the evaluation of pesticide safety and the control and regulation of the pesticide’s use. Ecofeminism is used to analyze the results as it is a theoretic that links the destruction of the environment with social hierarchies. A novel schematic for expanding scientific uncertainty beyond the scientific method is presented as a way for both a more nunaced understanding of scientific uncertainty and for greater civic participation in scientific decision-making.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
M
Department: 
Dept. of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Recalling our social movement origins: diversity and the shifting practice of contemporary midwifery in B.C. - and - Representing Gardasil: a close textual analysis of print advertisements for the vaccine Gardasil

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Paying particular attention to the context of British Columbia I outline some transformations in midwifery practice in recent decades and highlight emerging challenges as midwifery shifts from a grassroots lay practice to a mainstream profession. With a focus on the social movement context of the origins of contemporary midwifery practice, I argue that the present midwifery system does not adequately contend with the diversity of birthing women’s interests. A close textual analysis of Gardasil print advertisements, found in North American medical association journals and fashion magazines, serves as an entry point for understanding some of the social values and assumptions at play in the representation of the vaccine Gardasil as a “cure for cancer.” I pay particular attention to how visual imagery, semantic relations, and hyponymy work to produce distinct representations of the world that simultaneously emerge out of and are immersed within discourses of health, disease, morality, and protection.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
C
Department: 
Dept. of Women's Studies - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Essays (M.A.)