Communication Honours Capstone Projects

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The Economics of Television and Sport: Creating a New World

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2003-08-05
Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Department: 
School of Communication

Pubs in Public Life: A Place for Liquor Spaces in the City of Vancouver

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-04-22
Abstract: 

Vancouver liquor licensing bylaws has been described by members of the media, industry, government and general public as overly restrictive, especially in the areas of hours ofservice, geographical distribution and the cultural diversity ofpublic liquor spaces. According to the City of Vancouver, the objective of city stewardship is to provide for the social, economic and physical well-being of citizens. A consultation of both academic research and the Vancouver community suggests that public liquor consumption sites can contribute positively to the social, economic and physical well- being of citizens. This paper explores how a reexamination and considered relaxation of liquor licensing bylaws could strengthen the viability and vitality of Vancouver. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Smith, Richard
Marontate, Jan
Department: 
School of Communication

A Cross-Cultural Study: Sociological Appropriation of Short Message Service (SMS) A Taiwanese Canadian Experience

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2006-12
Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Smith, Richard
Department: 
School of Communication

The Media Analysis of the Canadian Navy Centennial

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011-03
Abstract: 

This paper reports on comparative study ofthe treatments ofthe Canadian Navy Centennial celebrations of2010 in selected Canadian military and civilian press, with the intent ofrevealing similarities and differences between the two information sources. Employing a content analysis protocol I developed for this purpose, I analyzed a sample of 50 articles from selected civilian and military publications. My intention was to identify the elements that comprised the news discourse in both information sources. The quantitative data revealed significant differences in treatment, especially with respect to amounts of'hard" and "soft" news reported respectively by military and civilian news sources.The high frequency ofpoliticians quoted as sources and news actors reveal that civilian publications have a stronger political standpointas reflected in news when compared to military publications. The study also showed that the historical context ofthe navy was reported with a higher percentage within civilian publications.The similarities between military news publications and civilian publications brought forth to the discussion ofhow the Canadian Navy's Centennial navy was represented as a public relations campaign by the Canadian Armed Forces. The similar ways on how primary topics are presented ~ithin time frames, the equal amount ofmentioning ofmilitary wars and operations, and the prominence of regional news being presented, were all examinedwithin the research to observe the strategies involved in promoting this national commemorative ceremony. A range of topics surrounding journalism discourse were discussed which includes the following: nationalistic discourse, discourse ofreporting future news, targeted representation, media framing, and hybrid promotional news discourse. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Onufrijchuk, Roman
McCarron, Gary
Department: 
School of Communication

"Something Must Be Done" Institutional and Public Empathy in the Case of Darfur

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-08-29
Abstract: 

What are the limits to one's empathetic responsibility for other human beings? In a world in which we are all connected in increasingly complex ways and are vicariously witness to some of the most horrific tragedies ever imagined, the justification has never been stronger to examine the role of empathy as it moves through these stages. Using scholarly texts and media or official reports, I describe the connections between media treatments, public opinion and the allocation of international aid in the Darfur situation as a case study. The rationale for this work is to investigate the extent to which institutions and publics, particularly in Canada, are guided by the empathetic imperatives ('something must be done') which are regularly expressed through notions of nationalism and global citizenship. Should these actors -institutions such as the Canadian Government and the United Nations and the publics they represent - behave as if empathy mattered in the practical exercise of responsible power? This question is explored conceptually and practically in the dramatic and contested context of Darfur in southern Sudan, a humanitarian crisis that demonstrates staggering discrepancies between public political representations of empathy and their translation into practice. The findings of my investigation suggest that presumably responsible institutions lack the political will with which to achieve the full translation of empathy into practice, despite the theoretical position they have adopted that prioritizes this empathetic regard for other human beings. While further research in this area is essential to grapple with these issues in more depth, my hope with this work is that the atrocity of Darfur can demonstrate the importance of a method that prioritizes the alignment of action with theoretical principles and that this might enhance the ability to prevent future occurrences. conclude that it must finally be made acceptable both on the domestic front and internationally that indeed, 'something must be done'. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Anderson, Bob
Laba, Martin
Department: 
School of Communication

Women in Science Fiction: Opportunities and Constraints of Representations in Postfeminist Worlds

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-08-08
Abstract: 

Popular Culture plays an important role in society including helping to shape our perceptions of groups and frames of different groups. This paper looks to the ways in which women and gender are portrayed in part of popular culture: the science fiction television genre. Drawing from academic studies of women's representation in other areas of popular culture, including an in depth literature review of academic work on Star Trek, the representations o f women in the science fiction television programs Battlestar Galactica (2003) and Dol/house (2009) are explored. Using Critical Discourse Analysis, conclusions are drawn about the impact of themes such as Power, Highlighted Sexuality, Appearance and Beauty, and Motherhood on the narratives and representations of women in postfeminist worlds. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Cross, Kathleen
Department: 
School of Communication

Documenting Picture Our World

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2007-04-11
Abstract: 

Picture Our World is a project created by university students giving cameras to children in order to communicate cross-culturally through photography, empowering its participants to be empathetic global citizens. This paper will present the rationale behind the Picture Our World project and suggest why its story should be told through a documentary film. This rationale will be contextualized through a study ofglobalizations affects on children. I will present a literature review of the work done to date on this subject demonstrating that the Picture Our World project is both unique and important in its processes and aims. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Department: 
School of Communication

Imitation, Technology, and the Western World

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011
Abstract: 

The aim of this study is to determine the function of imitation through a comparative study of several perspectives: philosophy, social science, and neurophysiology. A significant aspect of the communication field, imitation is the study of mimicking, specifically in the development of languages, human behaviors, and human interactions. This mimicking nature of humans also relates to work being done on nurturing technology, such as in twenty-first century robotics research and development.

In this comparative study on imitation, I explore imitation in its contemporary manifestation: neurophysiology. By drawing on the work of neurologists Rizollatti and Sinigaglia, who explore the function of mirror neurons in humans in their text Mirrors in the Brain. I also compare the definitions of imitation through such authors as Plato, Aristotle, and Tatarkiewicz. Prior to defining imitation, however, I outline of my methodology. Following this outline, I look at the importance of imitation in social communication, the development of social life, and its influence on technology. 

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Onufrijchuk, Roman
Laba, Martin
Department: 
School of Communication

The Interaction Order of the United Nations High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014-04
Abstract: 

Are the United Nation’s (U.N.’s) institutionalized spaces for international diplomacy capable of producing cooperation between states on international issues? This project deconstructs two such spaces using Irving Goffman’s theory of face-work and Habermas’ theory of communicative action in an effort to address this question. Video footage is used to conduct an extractive videographic analysis, documenting the interaction order of two U.N. diplomatic events. This is supplemented by a linguistic analysis of inclusive and exclusive personal pronoun usage by participants at both events. Four main findings are made, in relation to the importance of identity and language within institutionalized spaces for international diplomacy, which are the basis for the recommendations made to encourage more inclusive, engaged and proactive spaces for international diplomacy in the future. 

Senior supervisor: 
Reilly, Katherine
Department: 
School of Communication

Public Perceptions of Genetic Testing

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2014
Abstract: 

There are many risks and concerns accompanied with the benefits of big data in genomics science. In a recent poll conducted by the Huntington Post and YouGov organization on the DNA breakthroughs, the majority of Americans (38%) is excited about the main scientific breakthroughs on human, plant and animal DNA (YouGov, 2014). However, many of them are concerned about the privacy and ethics of genetic research. 34% of the surveyors strongly disapproved of scientists using DNA and cloning technology to bring woolly mammoths and other extinct species back to life (YouGov, 2014). 52% strongly disapproved of scientists using research on human DNA to produce children with unusually high intelligence or other special attributes (YouGov, 2014). Lastly, 35-37% of American surveyors are very worried about that scientists may begin to 'play God' (YouGov, 2014). What can these statistics tell us? Apparently, they point out to us that there is a clear distrust between the public and the experts (the scientists). Also, there is a high level of risk perception on genetic/genomic technology among the public. Bioscientists, social scientists, policymakers and other experts in the field are working hard to bringing genomics technology from the lab setting into the real healthcare system; however, they seem to miss or ignore the public's desires and opinions in this issue. Therefore, this paper will review the genomics literature and the impacts of genetic testing among the public, and conduct a survey among Simon Fraser University students as a sample representing the populations of British Columbia to explore the public perceptions on multiple themes of the knowledge and attitude of the public towards genetic testing and government legislation regulating; the impact of genetic technologies on women; the health system implications; the privacy concerns over genetic information including access, control and trust; and the ethical implications of genetic testing.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Senior supervisor: 
Chow-White, Peter
Department: 
School of Communication